Soraya Shryane introduces us to Birmingham & West Midlands Police LFC.
1) How did the club and particularly your team get started?
Club started approximately 2002 but Birmingham & West Midlands Police LFC were formed in 2011, after Birmingham Athletic Ladies merged with West Midlands Police Ladies. Birmingham Athletic played in West Midlands Division 1 South, West Midlands Police LFC although didn’t compete within a league, played in regular police competitions / tournaments across the world, currently being ranked third in the world after gaining a bronze medal at the World Police & Fire Games in New York in August 2011.
2) Tell us some of your top nicknames and why players have them and why some maybe don’t?
Top Nicknames are Spike- Lucy has Spiky hair, Turd- Clare’s Surname is Third, Bruno- Neena looks like Bruno Mars & Teeth- Beth’s teeth are like a hamster’s!!
3) Do you have a fairly settled team?
Yeah I’d say after a pretty rocky season with the transition taking place, players coming and going we are a lot more stable as a club, with a solid committee and structure within the club.
4) How did the 2011/12 season go for you, what do you expect from 2012/13 and who are your biggest rivals?
In the 8 years I have been playing this has to be one of the hardest seasons. New home ground, new training facilities, new team name, new players and management coming in and a higher standard of opposition! Extreme highs and unbelievable lows in the fight for promotion makes this season the best and most enjoyable by far! After being promoted, the standard of opposition again will be higher and competition for places will be tough, but we all want the same to win games and challenge for promotion again!
5) Tell us a top fact about your team:
A Top Fact about our team is that we have amazing banter!! We’re all friends off the pitch. So basically we see each other all the time like one big happy family! Always joking about, Cooking for each other, random road trips, holidays, concerts and dancing partners. Now that’s what you call Love! 🙂
6) Who is your captain and tell us a bit about her (nickname, background, what she’s good at and not good at)?
Netty Manca is our Captain. She’s our goal keeper and is definitely the best in the league! Strong, quick and agile. Commands the box and reads the game better than most. Gets us motivated and lets us know when and where we’re going wrong and how to put it right. Brilliant role model, lovely person but you wouldn’t want to cross her. 🙂
7) What about your coach/manager – are they serious, funny, good/bad and why?
We have great coaches at our club. The job is shared between Owen and Carvs. Both are all rounders. Very committed and have great knowledge of the game. Brilliant preparation for training and matches. Can be serious when need be in order to get the best out of us, But equally can have a laugh, Joke around and definitely get involved with the banter.
8) Tell us a funny moment the team shared:
It’s quite hard to pick out just one joke the team have shared as there are so many. But I think I’ll go with the day I tackled my own player! We were something like 9-0 up. I’d ask Painter to set me up in order for me to get my hat-trick just as I had set her up for the goal before. Now being a greedy striker, she decided to take the shot herself in which I vowed to get her back. Moments later she went through on goal and just had the keeper to beat. I ran from off the left wing over to her just as she was about to shoot, tackled her and took the shot for myself. It wouldn’t have been so bad but I actually put it wide! Everyone saw the funny side apart from my managers, who were screaming at me from the side. Ooooppps.
9) Who is the team’s jock (the fittest) and who is the joker?
Team Jock Hmm I’d like to say myself but would never live it down lol So I’ll go with Clare Third. Never stops running, a great example to us all, physically fit and very strong in challenges. Funniest? Well there’s a few but I’d have to say that is definitely ME! Ha I just cant help myself being mischievous and always making jokes at everyone else’s expense. Whether it’s making up new names for each or just telling them something that’s untrue. Thank God they all see the funny side.
10) Does the team/club have an unsung hero?
Unsung hero has to be Helen Carver, one of our coaches. She single-handedly held the club together during our merge with West Midlands Police during the start of our season. Keeping and recruiting players, finding a new manager, training facilities and sponsors. Carver basically runs every aspect of the club behind the scenes and front of house. Without her we wouldn’t be in the position we are in today. We have a lot to thank her for.
11) Who is always first to the bar/on the dancefloor on a team/club night out?
First to the bar Emily Painter …Shots to begin with is a tradition she don’t forget! First to the dance floor Lucy ‘Spike’ Gimson Always shaking a leg.
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