Everyone is on the decade ender bandwagon. I wish I could bring you an epic one that could tell the tale of women’s football in this country, to speak on the pioneers, the growth, hardship and love over the last ten years.
However, ten years ago I was falling out of love with the game. The 2011 World Cup in Germany was the last tournament I paid proper attention to until four years later in Canada. Then I returned to football like a fish back in the water.
So the reality is, I’ve missed a HUGE chunk of football. Add on the accessibility to watch more than one match a season has only really unlocked since last season in Australia makes it difficult to even do a half decade dash. Our game deserves knowledge, and justice to the last ten years that I’m unable to provide.
So instead, here is a wrap of 2019 by the numbers. It was massive.
(Also watch out, the end of the Roaring 20’s I’m bound to have a brilliant decade ender ok)
Thirty five soccer matches live. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but when only four are ‘at home’ in Launceston it’s a big number.
There was a lot of travel.
Eleven trips down the Midland Highway to Hobart, burning 4,400 kms of rubber, translating to 50 hours mindlessly driving down the always roadwork splattered stretch.
To the other end of the state, seven matches in the North West. Trips to Ulverstone and one to Devonport equaling over 1,500 kilometres, that’s over ten hours of looking navigating the windy Bass Highway and a few of those in downpour, dark and windy conditions.
Add it all together for local matches, it’s about 6,000 kms. The same as Ulverstone’s regular season with no Cup matches included. While the average Hobart side road trips for 1,200 kms.
In eight trips across Bass Strait, four to Melbourne, the other half to Sydney, that’s about 9,000 kms. Breaking down to 4 regular season W-League matches, a Grand Final, two Victorian NPLW games, a sneaky preseason match and a Matildas game.
The travel is equivalent is roughly Sydney to Perth and back, plus a one way ticket. Really it’s just 20 hours in a plane seat.
The total number of kilometres driven or flown? Over 15,000.
To watch football is why I did it.
Thirty five in total sees over three thousand minutes of football. In that time, 126 goals were scored. Goalkeepers kept 18 clean sheets, part of me was wishing for more. Only one match was goalless, oddly enough that was at home in Launceston during a men’s NPL game.
Four ‘double header’ weekends in Hobart. I’ve not included the few Southern Championship matches I may or may not have snuck in before the Women’s Super League kick offs.
And writing. So much writing.
In total I clocked up 143 pieces. There’s no point counting the drafts, edits and few that never see the light of day. There’s interviews, analysis, rants (so many rants and ramblings), match reports and so so so many food analogies and puns.
The bulk have hit the web here, on Molly’s Footy Rants. Including this one, I’ll hit 92. While at Beyond 90, out of the gates with a ripping amount in the first month meant I sailed to 26 (not including podcasts). There were two spills over at The Women’s Game before the switch to Beyond 90.
Locally, I’m counting 22 with Slice of Cheese (AKA Football Tasmania). There’s many instagram write ups that aren’t included in the numbers, but we can leave them. Included in the 22 was live blogging or being part of the commentary team on the rare streamed match.
While my proudest and toughest piece was with The Guardian. The stress-filled match where the Matildas kicked themselves out of the tournament was the one I watched closest, trying to judge all the players on the park while managing the heartache and the tight deadline.
March and June were both huge months. Somehow managing 21 write ups in them. No idea how I hit those numbers, apparently you can’t shut me up though.
The year that was 2019. Honestly it probably wasn’t the bumpiest year out, but it was the busiest when a new Monday to Friday job with late-ish hours are thrown into the mix in a new town. All the emotions, travel, the hours of lost sleep have taught when to reach out to the people around me. I couldn’t have accomplished half of what I’ve done this year without family and friends. The amount of time, advice and most importantly love those close with me have provided is countless. So thank you.
2020’s adventure is shaping up to look a little different. I’ll be studying a Masters of Teaching full time, as well as working in the job I love here in Launceston. Finding a balance between work, study, football and breathing will very likely see my travelling time slashed.
But eyes on the big prize yeah.
There’s a piece I’ve just started working in that I can’t wait to share with you. So see you in the New Year xx