By Megan Harris.
Hi everyone and a massive welcome to my brand new blog. It is with great pleasure that I will be swapping my football boots for a laptop, and joining The Offside Rule team – what better excuse do I need to talk about the beautiful game?
Now before I start talking all things football it would be rude of me not to introduce myself properly; so you can establish my credentials and authenticate my qualifications to talk about the subject that we all love.
So a few vital stats, I’m 5’7, blonde (with a little help from a bottle) and most importantly a Man United fan. On top of that I am a semi-professional footballer and full time football fanatic, attempting to break into the world of sports media and journalism, whilst juggling a bit of coaching on the side.
When I’m not playing, watching, coaching or talking football you can generally find me accompanied by a good brew (milk, one sugar), a packet of biscuits and my laptop trawling through the internet for the latest additions to my wardrobe or exploring my inquisitive nature on various social media sites. My most prized possessions include a green Blue Peter badge, a 2012 Olympic Torch and little black pug called Ralphy!
Having studied at Loughborough University I am also a qualified PE teacher with four years experience under my belt. Having left the profession for the bright lights of the FAWSL three years ago to realise my ambition of becoming a fooballer. I have accompanied my playing role with the general manager position at Lincoln Ladies looking after the everyday business and progression of the club – with the multitasking box ticked I’m already beginning to fit right in with the podcast girls!
Right back to football….
My earliest footballing memory was tearing open the wrapping paper on my ‘Gary Lineker’ football, running to get my 1990 United blue and white sharp kit and dragging my dad out on Christmas morning to have a kick about in the freezing cold – I guess you can say I caught the bug from an early age.
Unsurprisingly it was my dad who took me to the first ever Lincoln Ladies training session, as a skinny little 10-year-old with dodgy curtains (regrettably I do mean the dodgy 90’s hair kind). Having exceeded the age to don the yellow jersey for my boys team Lincoln was my only option, and what a successful and memorable one it has turned out to be.
I am proud to say I am a one-women club, the Paul Scholes of Lincoln (at least in my head) having been there from the very start, seeing us progress and develop from a local league team watched by one man and his dog (if we were lucky), to becoming one of the leading lights in women’s football.
Friday’s Conti Cup final marked the end of an era for the club, as the curtain came down on Lincoln and re-opened with Notts County. It was an emotional night for me and a city who has prided itself on their women’s team for over 18 years. But as the sport grows both in commercial and professional terms, the only way teams can become sustainable and competitive is to have financial backing and an effective partnership with a large organisation, be it a men’s club or educational establishment – Darwinism at its best.
I digress, enough on that subject now, I’m sure I will get a chance to jump on my high horse at some point in the future.
For me the proudest moment throughout my playing career was lining up in the same team as both my sisters. You would never believe it looking at a family photo but my two, ginger twin sisters, 10 years my junior both caught the football bug too. Emily has since announced her retirement and pledged alliance to a glass of wine or three, however Martha has gone from strength to strength, becoming an integral part of not only the Ladyimps back four, but also England U19’s too. She even managed to bag a silver medal in this year’s European Championships – I don’t know where she gets all her talent from!
‘The Football Gene’ (which intriguingly will be the basis of my weekly blog) doesn’t stop there. My little brother is also a wannabe footballer, playing for Lincoln City’s U16 Academy side, Liam Harris – you heard it here first!
My family are just one of the many examples of siblings connected by football and over the coming months I will explore this phenomenon in more detail.
The Football Gene will be out every week.