After a rough start to the season, it seemed like it the worst was behind us once we got our first win at the end of September. We made our mark and played our game, but that momentum was short lived as our next game ended in a loss. By learning from that experience, and implementing our principles of play, we won 5-1 against Leicester in the Conti Cup. I bagged my first goal for the Blues which was exciting! However, I did not celebrate it with a classic knee slide towards the corner flag, or even a smile. In fact I celebrated so little, that there were doubts about whether I had even scored. It took my teammates running over with smiles on their faces to get a smile to creep onto my face and I am grateful to be surrounded by such supportive people.
I believe that win showed what we are capable of and built up our confidence. The 2-0 win against Liverpool earned us our first three points in the league, got us away from being at the bottom of the table and added momentum going into the next game, which was against Man City. Although the game ended in a narrow 2-1 loss, it is safe to say our performance was so much better than before and I had no doubts of what we could build from there.
Unfortunately, within one month, our squad went from sixteen first team players to twelve due to injury and illness. Our lack of depth was exposed. We lost our momentum just as fast as we gained it. The frustration built with each loss until we could see the light at the end of the tunnel: we had three league games before Christmas break and we had a good shot of getting points from all of them. If we did (and other teams results went in our favour), we could get ourselves out of the danger zone and go into the break with good spirits. This lit a fire in our bellies. We fought through the difficult times, and took four points from two games (the third game was postponed). We are currently ninth on the table, with a game in hand, and have no intention of getting pulled back down.
I should mention that we were able to make it through this rough patch due to the Academy players that were called into action. We needed numbers and they were given the opportunity to play and start in several games within the last two months. They showcased their potential and maturity, whilst also shining a light on how invested the club and staff behind the scenes are in developing youth players. Without them it might have been a different story.
Off the pitch, I’ve been working on not being so stuck in my hermit crab ways. In regards to my solo adventures, I finally made it to the Birmingham Christmas market on multiple occasions. During one of my visits to the market, I stumbled into the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. I saw some cool art and learned a bit about Birmingham’s history.
Lucy [Whipp], my roomie, and I attended a Lewis Capaldi concert, if you don’t know him or his music, check him out. He is quite a character, is very funny and his voice is amazing!
The squad has had a few team bonding moments including a halloween party, a cooking class, and most recently the team Christmas party. Casual team events are so important as you are able to get to know your teammates on a more personal level away from the football field. One thing I learned is that this crew is full of top notch people.
The cooking class was held by with our sponsor, Maple from Canada. This event was a lot of fun and gave us the chance to learn new cooking techniques and recipes. It was also an opportunity to see who is skilled in the kitchen and who isn't!
The Christmas party was an awesome experience held at The Floodgate in Birmingham. We spent the night in batting cages, curling and playing table golf. I discovered that although my batting stance was pretty good (in my humble opinion), it is not always the technique that matters, as I watched several of my mates hit a lot more balls than I did, using some questionable stances and techniques.
I also learned that curling is a lot harder than it looks, and it is also not one of my fortes. On a similar note, neither is table golf!
I am looking forward to and am thankful that I will be able to spend the holidays with my loved ones. Fingers crossed Colorado treats me with some snow, because I need a bit of that dry, snowy winter in my life.
Happy New Year and see you in 2020, Bluenoses!
See Adrienne in action for just £1 when Blues take on Manchester City on Sunday 19 January. Tickets are available here.