As you all (people who read regularly) know, I expanded my love for the Arsenal back in March when I purchased a Ladies season ticket. Not many people follow the female Gunners so as a special thank you, the handful of ST holders were invited to watch an open training session at London Colney. There was a choice between last Tuesday and last Wednesday. I opted for the latter as they had a Cup match against Watford on the Thursday and I wanted to see how they were preparing for the important match.
The men’s team train in the morning whereas the ladies usually have a session in the evening. I think I am right in saying that the women’s game isn’t fully professional so doesn’t pay too well. Training is at 5pm to allow time for the girls to study at University/College or do their day job before football time. Also, another difference is that the Arsenal Ladies train on AstroTurf inside whereas (I’ve gleamed from pictures) that the men mainly practice outside.
There was only about 10 of us Season Ticket holders but the legendary Maria, who is somewhat of a celebrity amongst the ladies, definitely makes up for a shortage in numbers. We arrived at quarter to 5 so after waiting around for a bit, went inside to the indoor complex (they said it would be chilly but it wasn’t). The session had already begun so we took the safe position at the side behind some netting. I was slightly surprised as none of the training was intense but I suppose the players cannot afford to go mental with a game the next day.
As the team warmed down, Maria treated the players to a quick song, which had everyone smiling before we were all invited onto the pitch to meet the girls. I found this awkward as I clam up around famous people and get nervous conversing with women I don’t know so talking to the Arsenal Ladies was a bit of a nightmare combination. I didn’t know what to say without looking like a muppet so I kept quite. My policy is if in doubt, shut up.
Bye for now!