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Maria Karlsson

Maria Karlsson: Home sweet home

I love to travel, to be abroad, meet new people and new cultures, to taste new food and get new experiences, and since January all that has been a big part of my life. I’ve really enjoyed my first four months in England and all the new experiences I’ve had and all new people I’ve met.

Last week, Kylla Sjoman and I were in Barcelona and Rome. It was a lovely week with sun, ice cream, sea, tapas, FC Barcelona, new friends, pizza, Colosseum, and espresso. The foreign girls in Doncaster (Kylla, Aine, and I) have had a good time at Ramada Hotel, but Kylla and I didn’t miss the hotel food when we ate home cooked pasta in Italy. It was lovely! In Barcelona, we watched FC Barcelona’s last home game for the season. The game was average, but the celebrations after were the most amazing I’ve ever seen. More than 70,000 people congratulated the Spanish Champions, and I really look forward to tonight’s Champions League game. I feel prepared after being at both Old Trafford and Camp Nou the last months. I hope we’ll see a well played game between two tactical teams that want to attack. (more…)


Maria Karlsson: First half of FA Women’s Super League season comes to a close

We have now played seven games, and the first part of the season has passed by far too quickly. My personal opinion is that the league could have been played another three weeks, and then continue after the Women’s World Cup from end of July to October. I know it’s only eight teams, but why not play every team three times instead of two? I like when it’s intense between the games, but the
training suffers, and it’s hard for the clubs to get time to advertise each big game. Especially for our club, which has had three home games in the last eight days. I’m sure that the clubs and the FA have the same goal – that the players, teams and the game should develop. That will bring a bigger crowd to the games and more sponsors and money to the clubs. It would be a win-win situation for all parts. This of course is something that takes time and is a long-term project, and I think that this first season will teach a lot about how the future will look.

Maria Karlsson: My best supporter, a big win, and a meeting with a legendary manager

Maria Karlsson with Sven-Göran Eriksson (Photo by Tim Sweed)

I hate to lose, but I’m not a bad loser. There’s a big difference. But I’m definitely a worse blog writer after a loss. So today I’m happy to write this blog after our great and important victory over Liverpool on Wednesday. It was a game when we had decided to fight from the first to the last minute, together, as a team. We created a lot of chances, but still struggled to put away a second and third goal. At least it must be exciting for the audience. Our goalie Helen Alderson, who I feel I should pronounce Andersson, because that’s makes her more Swedish, had a brilliant save off a penalty in the second half and then a great save (for the cameras) in the last minute of the game. (more…)

Maria Karlsson: Two important weeks

Aine, Maria, and Kylla, and a upcoming Doncaster star (photo by Shaun Flannery)

Every year before the season starts there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation in the air and then suddenly you’re in the midst of everything. The weeks pass quickly and we play game after game. Last weekend we lost our consistency that is so important. We definitely played a game with two halves when we played Chelsea at Keepmoat Stadium. Our first half was good, but in the second we lost our game and Chelsea took advantage. (more…)

Maria Karlsson: Super start for Doncaster

I think everyone who has ever been involved with sports can agree with me that winning is great. The feeling you get when you have three points after a football game is awesome, and it’s even better when it’s after the first game, of a new league, in a historic game for women’s football in England. We came out with three points against Lincoln last week and the goal came, well-deserved, from our experienced midfielder Vicky Exley. It was a great game and a really good team effort. It was all about that game. This week we have two new games. First, we play Everton away on Wednesday, and then Chelsea in our first home game, Easter Sunday. I hope that we can be consistent and have the same buzz as we had last week, and that all our Doncaster fans will be backing us up in the stands. (more…)

Maria Karlsson: Start of FA WSL season getting closer

Maria Karlsson at Old Trafford

There are only three days left to the kickoff for FA WSL now! The Belles had a really good session today in the sun at Balby Carr. We’re buzzing and prepared for the first game against Lincoln away Wednesday night. Can’t wait. A lot of players have improved over the last few weeks, and I will give a special shout for our tall striker Millie, only 17, but give her some time, and with her power and vision, she can be really, really good.

My soulmate and friend Sofia has been in town last week and so has the lovely weather. Both make me happy. It’s almost summer in Doncaster, and I love it. Just being out in the sun wearing shorts and a T-shirt makes this time of the year so wonderful. And every year at this time I wonder how I can live in a country where it’s dark and cold six months of the year. Maybe it’s time for a change.
Now that I am living in a new country for the first time, I feel that I should try to visit as many cities as a can. Last Friday, I went to Nottingham to celebrate our captain Katie Holtham turning 25. On Saturday, I went to Manchester for a presentation for various Swedish building companies. I spoke about my football career, my life abroad, and the new FA WSL. After my presentation, I met Aine and Kylla, and we went to the “theatre of dreams,” Old Trafford, to watch Man U vs. Fulham. An amazing stadium, crowd of 75,300 people, glorious weather, excited kids, and happy families all around.  I’ll be back!

Soon it’s bedtime for me. Tomorrow is a bright and early morning. It’s time for the launch of the league at Wembley Stadium. All the ambassadors, managers, FA people, media, the league mascot, the girl band, parade, and so on will be there to kick off FA WSL 2011. Here we go…

Maria Karlsson is a defender for Doncaster Rovers Belles and the first Swedish international in the FA Women’s Super League.