A Footy Rant with Liss Bowden

A footy rant with… series is BACK! Woooo!! Meaning I got to badger someone else and ask them some soccer related questions. Honestly I’m pretty stoked Liss agreed to answer some questions for us. Also pretty chuffed this series is continuing, and gives us something to do during this super long W-League off-season. So good things all around.

Anyway to the program..

So, who’s Liss? We meet through playing with the Zebras last season. Playing at the same club meant the opportunity to train against each other a occasionally. Every time I was up against her in a small sided game I left feeling like I got completely schooled. Liss is a super clever footballer, both on and off the pitch. Nowadays it’s a hell of a lot nicer simply having the pleasure of watching her play when I get to report on Zebras games. Oh yeah, Liss is American, so automatically is super cool.

Anyway, here’s a footy rant with Liss.

Footy Rants Bowie Pic

Photo credit: Solstice.Digital & Photography

How did you get involved with soccer and what’s your involvement now?

I use to want to do everything my sisters did, and they played soccer, so I did too. I first started playing when I was four years old and have just kept going. It was something pretty easy for my parents to get me to and it’s very popular in the States, particularly for girls.

Now I’m coaching three teams and playing, a big commitment.

 

Why do you love soccer?

I’ve been asked this question quite often recently and I don’t know. Soccer is one of those things you do and it feels like you’re home. Some of my best friends, that I still have, come from some of the teams I’ve played on. I’ve got friends I played with in u13 back home who I still talk to. They’re some of my closest friends now. I’ve always really loved how we all have a sense of community from achieving something as a team.

 

What soccer memory makes you smile the most?

Probably travelling when I was on the state team back home. We use to travel a lot to Canada and go to nationals down in Florida. Nationals down in Florida are some really fun memories. I got to meet Clint Dempsey, who is my idol. The hotel we stayed at in Florida was connected to the airport and a shopping mall. Even though we were quite young, our parents allowed us to go run amuck there.

But the memories of travelling, with getting to play in different places, against different teams in different countries. Also playing in the Olympic stadium in Canada was really fun.

 

What has been the hardest thing you’ve faced within the sport and how did you overcome it?

Injury. Around grade 10 I got probably one of my worst injuries. In the States around that age is when university coaches start scouting you. There’s a College showcase, which is a club team tournament where college scouts watch and will contact you afterwards if they like what they see. I decided to tear six ligaments in my foot a couple weeks before my College showcase started. Instead of playing, my foot was in a boot. That was probably one of the hardest things.

Did you end up playing anywhere for college?

Instead of playing for the university I played club. I actually think this was a good move for me with my knees and everything. Handling the university training/playing schedule and completing university course work is hard. It took my sister 5½ years to graduate, whilst it took me 3½ years because I played club.

There were other benefits for playing club too. When I joined as a freshman, all the captains were seniors who had to elect someone to take over when they were done, and by second semester freshman year I was captain with them. I ended up being president/captain/coach. As a freshman I was coaching seniors, which was a bit nerve wracking. By sophomore year it was just me. It was my first time coaching, I was like a player coach for the team. At the beginning it was quite daunting, but it was good.

 

Any dreams or hopes for the game?

For Tasmania, I really hope the player base grows and the Women’s Super League continues. Through coaching the youth program I’ve seen it get a lot bigger over the last few years, so hopefully in a couple of year there will be more teams and a larger player base in the Championship and WSL.

In general, hopefully there will be equality between men and women. As well as a bigger fan base for the W-League.

 

Best piece of footy advice?

Make sure you have fun whilst you’re playing. That’s really what it all comes down to. When you start treating soccer like a job or going out of obligation because you’ve made a commitment, your love of the game is going to be lost.

 

It’s the do or die penalty for a finals penalty shoot out. Would you rather be the goalkeeper or the penalty taker?

Well I’ve been both in that situation. I’d rather be the penalty taker. My percentage is a lot higher taking them than saving them.

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