Participating in Champions League for the first time was a great experience. I can’t remember the last time I played three 90 minute games in 5 days, but the physical exhaustion was well worth it. My team participated in 3 group stage matches and won 2/3 of them. We didn’t get the results that we wanted, but that’s life and things aren’t always going to go as planned. I came down here hungry to score goals and be a difference maker and I was able to walk away with 9 goals and 3 assists in our preseason games against boys and 3 goals within the 3 Champions League matches I participated in.
I was also able to walk away with 23 new friends learning a bit of Greek and showing a few of my team mates a little thing or two about some music from North America. One moment I will never forget was when one of my Greek team mates, Florentia, did the Nae Nae dance I taught her as her goal celebration dance. It literally caught me off guard because it wasn’t planned and I had to join in with her. These are the moments on the field that matter the most. Having fun, working hard to make a good pass, moving to create space for your team mates and celebrating a goal you’ve worked hard for. View the music video below to get a kick out of the entire dance.
Overall so far my first year and a half playing professional soccer has been a rollercoaster, but I truly believe that a part of the journey is being able to overcome many obstacles thrown at you. That may include moving to a foreign country where English isn’t the first language or having to adjust to a completely different culture and making things work although they may be a little uncomfortable at first. Learning how to deal with the things that make you the most uncomfortable will make you a more well rounded person.
What motivates me every day is knowing the reality that there is always going to be another player ready to take my spot if I’m not willing to put in the extra work in order to stand out. Mediocrity will never push you toward greatness. Strategically setting goals and having the discipline to work your ass off to reach them is what will separate you from everyone else. My goal this year and next is to continue playing in Europe and by next year be wearing a CSA jersey again…what’s yours?