Sunday, February 1, 2015
Another adventure begins! As I write this, I'm currently sitting on a plane and heading back to Europe. Long flights are always a great time to reflect on things. I've been doing this for what now seems like my entire life. I've been on countless trips overseas, to multiple countries, and with many different clubs. My first opportunity to come over and train with a European club was at the age of 14. I started coming over for trials on my own at 16 and moved to Scotland to play at 17. I have lost track of the amount of times I've come over to Europe. Looking back on it all now, it's hard to believe all that has happened in my life. It has been almost 10 years since I first got the chance to chase my dream and here I am still living it.
All these trips and it doesn't get any easier. It's very difficult to be away from my family. Especially now with the newest addition to my family; my fiancé Laura. I love you Laura and miss you. Without your support, it wouldn't be possible to do what I do. Thank you for pushing me to be the best I can be and always believing in me.
I am so fortunate to not only have the most incredible fiancé, and parents who have always been by my side; but also a phenomenal support group all around the world. This includes my extended family, former teammates, great friends and many others that I've been lucky enough to come across on my travels.
This game has brought me so much in my life. I've been so lucky to travel all around the world playing a game I love. Over time my determination to succeed has grown. I've never stopped trying to improve. I've continued working hard when nobody is watching. Im excited for another chance that has come my way; to continue living my dream. Time to go and make you all proud.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Happy New Year!
My training program has continued to grow over the past couple of weeks. I have been putting in sessions twice a day almost everyday of the week and I’m feeling great going into the new year. I will try to make my next post about my weekly training regime.
I recently picked up a new pairs of boots and wanted to share some thoughts on them. I have always been a sneaker head and have acquired a big collection of boots over the years - all of which are Nike. I enjoy trying out all the different models and feel comfortable wearing any of the top line Nike boots at the moment. However my favourite pair of boots right now are the Nike Mercurial Vapor X. I have had a few pairs of this model and just got a pair in all black; which is my favourite colour way so far.
I have always been a fan of the Nike Vapor boot line over the years and feel this may be the best model yet. You are able to wear them straight out of the box, without getting any blisters. They are extremely lightweight, but I feel they offer a good amount of protection. The upper is extremely thin and lightweight, giving you a good touch on the ball. The FG soleplate is ideal for artificial turf field or dry/damp natural grass pitches. Finally they are quite comfortable overall and seem to be quite durable.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
As I continue building for the New Year, my training is ongoing on a daily basis. At the moment, I’m putting in sessions everyday; usually twice a day. In the coming weeks, I plan to write more about my daily experiences and how I go about preparing for the upcoming season.
Yesterday I trained twice. In the morning I worked on some finishing (check out the video above), which is always a very enjoyable thing to work on. Unfortunately my camera died during the session, but I still managed to get some clips for the video. In the afternoon, I was doing some strength training in the gym. I love training and trying to find new ways to make myself a better player. There are so many different things to do, which is part of what makes it fun and exciting for me.
Keep watching the blog for more posts on my training regime and hopefully more videos soon. I will also try to post some other posts on some new things, including some boot reviews, etc. I have been so busy this fall between my personal life, my own training and coaching, it has been hard to keep up with writing on here - but I plan to change that starting now!
By the way, hard to believe this is my 100th Blog Post on this site. I started this blog what seems like a lifetime ago. I believe I started writing regularly around 4.5 years ago, in my first season in Norway. It’s crazy how time flies! Thank you to all who have continued to follow me on my adventures over the years. It is very interesting to see that there are readers from all around the world that check out the blog on a regular basis. As always, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments on my posts and contact me through my email on the side. Thanks again and here’s to the next 100 posts!
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I think I’m well overdue for an update on here! It’s hard to believe it’s been over 9 months since I last wrote on here. Saying things have changed a lot since my last blog post would be an understatement.
First of all I have a huge personal announcement! My life completely changed this past spring, as I proposed to my incredible girlfriend Laura on May 30th. So I’m very proud to say we are now engaged and will be getting married this upcoming summer! It was the best day of my life without a doubt. I have never been happier and am so fortunate to have such an amazing, supportive partner to share my life with.
And now from where I left off from in my last blog post… I did have some great experiences training in Germany and Austria. Another highlight was definitely seeing Bayern Munich play live. However I decided to head home and pursue opportunities closer to home. I signed with USL PDL club Washington Crossfire, based near Seattle. This meant over two hour commutes each way, from across the border in Canada to get to training multiple times a week. This quite often meant leaving for training around 4 PM and arriving home past Midnight that same night. I also managed to hold a coaching job in BC at the same time and had to find a way to balance the two different opportunities. It was challenging to say the least. However it was good to get some games in.
Following the season, Laura and I headed back to Europe for a three-week trip around Scandinavia. It was nothing short of spectacular. We flew out of Vancouver in early August on IcelandAir (my airline of choice). I usually try to fly IcelandAir for multiple reasons and have had many layovers in Reykjavik. However for the first time we arranged a stopover there, so we could have a chance to check out outside of the airport. We absolutely loved our two days in Reykjavik. It is a very special place! Some highlights included visiting the world famous Blue Lagoon (geothermal hot springs) and walking around the city centre. I would love to have the chance to explore outside of the city one day. Hopefully next time ;)
We then headed back to my old stomping grounds in Oslo. I love Oslo. It has always been a special place to me, ever since my first visit there as a five-year-old. It had been exactly two years since I was last living/playing there. It was a pretty crazy feeling to come back with my fiancé. Things in my life now are so different to when I was living there. It was amazing showing Laura around the city, discovering new places and showing her around my old favorite spots. I returned to one of my old club’s Kjelsås to do some training while in Oslo. It was nice to see some of the guys and they were definitely surprised to see me again!
After a few days in Oslo, it was time to head to Stockholm for our first visit there. We hopped on the train (for an incredibly cheap price) and made our way to Sweden. Sotckholm was very different to Oslo. We loved exploring Gamla Stan (old town) and biking around the waterfront near the city centre.
From Stockholm we headed back to Norway (via two trains) and arrived in Trondheim (further North) to stay with my family on their farm there. It was great to see my relatives there. Without them, I never would have ended up living or playing in Norway. I’m going way back in time here, but the background story is, in 2010 I first came to Norway to play after looking for a change from playing in the UK. I got in touch with my relatives at the end of my English season to see if I could come stay with them while trying out for some clubs for a few weeks. They helped me to call multiple clubs and set up trials before I signed with FK Bodø/Glimt in Northern Norway. It was so good to see them again, I feel like I’m staying at my home away from home when I’m with them. I’m very thankful for all they have done for me in my life. I had another training stint set up with local club Stjørdals/Blink while staying there. After a few days staying with them, we then headed North to Bodø.
It was time to jump on another long train ride and head North of the Arctic Circle. Looking back on it now I have to admit I was a very brave 19-year-old when I did this the first time. I remember my relative Håkon, calling Bodø/Glimt’s coach to see if I could come for a trial. We were sitting in the living room and he was speaking Norwegian to him of course. I had no idea what he was saying and when he got off the phone I was surprised that the coach invited me to come up for a trial. That night I booked a flight for the next day and I headed off to some town in Northern Norway, that I had never heard of and knew nobody in. I couldn’t be happier that I got on that flight. In all my years playing, that year has been my favorite. It was an honor to play for a huge club like Bodø/Glimt and I made some lifelong friends there. It feels special everytime I go back and I was thrilled to get to show Laura around there. It was great to see some of my old teammates there and I also had a chance to go and train with Bodø/Glimt for two days while I was there. Stepping out on the stadium field again was a very cool feeling.
Finally we headed back to Oslo for a final couple of days before heading back home to Vancouver. Overall it was an incredible trip and we can’t wait to head back. I’m excited to continue following my dreams playing the game I love and even more excited that I now have someone special to share those dreams with. I’m not going to say much now, but I will be pursuing more playing opportunities in 2015. For now, it’s all about preparation as I train daily to get myself ready for what’s to come. I’m thankful for all the last 9 months have brought in my life and I can’t wait to see what the future brings. Between a wedding, future travels and playing opportunities, it is bound to be the most exciting year of my life.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
I had the chance yesterday to experience a Bayern Munich game at the Allianz Arena. After watching countless games at this arena on TV, it was unbelievable to see a game live here. Bayern dominated the entire game and we had the chance to see some great goals. The ability of the players was phenomenal. All the little things they do is something else; their first touch, the movement of the ball and passing combinations. The game finished 4-0 for Bayern over Freiburg. The atmosphere inside was also something else. The fans are so passionate, it was so loud inside that it was hard to hear the people talking beside us. I have been fortunate enough to witness some great games in Europe during my life. I've seen Manchester United play at Old Trafford, AC Milan play at the San Siro, Celtic Vs Rangers in the Old Firm Derby and quite a few more; but this definitely ranks up there as one of the best I've seen. Such a great day and experience!