Player Blogs

International Postcard with Amanda Da Costa: Pressure Makes Us

Greetings from across the pond! The last time I wrote, I discussed my team struggling a little bit after the return of the second half of our season. I bring you good news! We are no longer struggling. In fact, we are striving! Things have turned around for us and not only has our hard work led us to 6 straight victories, but it has also led to us playing some of the best football we have played all season. We are sitting at the top of the league standings with only 90 minutes left in our entire season together; a high stakes game against Bristol to take place on September 29th.

 193832059,7C3B3DD0FC7E8700727Amanda Da Costa and teammate Whitney Engen (Photo courtesy of the FAWSL)

Pressure is what makes us. Not only is this true in football, but it is true in life as well. Each day I spend as a professional athlete, the more I grow used to this idea of pressure, and almost find it comforting in a weird way: it feels like I’m missing something when something seems too easy. Pressure is a concept that has been in heavy abundance this past year of my life and it started from the moment I arrived in Liverpool back in January. I arrived to an apartment where I spent my time by myself, when on the first night in my new home I blew up an electrical socket when fire shot out of my hair dryer (luckily it wasn’t aimed at my head yet). To quote a poet by the name of ‘Drake’: “started from the bottom now we here”.

 194411119,D8A723EB070157DA243There was plenty for the Liverpool Ladies to celebrate this season (Photo courtesy of the FAWSL)

As annoying as it has become when people say that, it unfortunately has an element of truth behind it! You always need to go down before you can go up, and the lower you get the higher you always seem to climb. The Liverpool Ladies were chillin’ at rock bottom of the league standings for the past couple of seasons, having only won one game in the 2012 season. Talk about starting from the bottom! Our manager Matt Beard and the rest of the Liverpool Ladies FC staff worked hard to bring together a group of ambitious players from all over the world, and began our training full time in the beginning of January of this year. With a chip on our shoulders and a huge element of the unknown facing us before our first day of training, we started to see our team growing together each day. Just as with any team, we have been through a lot together: we’ve struggled in low times, and have been euphoric in good times. We have had injuries and transfers, and anything else in between that happens in the duration of a season. At times we endure a love-hate relationship with one another, but only because we demand the most out of each other every day. These girls have become more than just my teammates and friends; they have become my family.

 IMG_1596Amanda and some of her teammates (Photo courtesy of Amanda Da Costa)

As I wrap up my 10 months in Liverpool, here are a few things I have learned outside of football:

  1. If someone asks me if “I’m okay?” it doesn’t mean that I look like there is something wrong with me, they just want to know what’s up!
  2. It is acceptable to have a constant flow of coffee every single day.
  3. It is also acceptable to eat cake at any time of day (not like I do this, but the English love their cake).
  4. Crisps=potato chips Chips=French fries
  5. I have a love affair with Paris.

 

IMG_9282A Love Affair with Paris (Photo courtesy of Amanda Da Costa)

 

With only 2 weeks left here, it is really hard for me to believe that I can finally check “living in Europe” off of my bucket list! While I am eager to get home to my family, friends, and my infamous dog Jazz, I still have one job to do before I leave: lift the league championship trophy and celebrate with my teammates!

Amanda Da Costa is a midfielder for Liverpool Ladies FC in England.  Check out her blog on The Equalizer or follow her on Twitter.

 

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