Again my blog writing has been nothing short of shoddy and for this I sincerely apologize.
I have a 90 page thesis I am trying to hammer out in the span of about 1.5 months, so needless to say this has been taking a great deal of my focus.
The sad news is that Donn is going bankrupt and so I have decided, with the lack of desire to change Norwegian clubs yet again, that I will be moving from Oslo when I leave at the end of the month. I am so happy I had the experience I had here. I was counting the other day and in my time in Norway I have played with players that have represented or currently represent the National Teams of Portugal, Serbia, Nigeria, Ireland, England, Denmark, Norway and Finland in the 3 seasons that I have been over here. Amazing. I have seen another country’s system, I have learned another language, I will have gotten a Masters Degree at the end of my time here. Really there is just so much to be grateful for in the time I have spent here.
Donn going under is something really sad, and to me again, it really highlights why women’s soccer needs to change if it wants to have a chance to move forward. The Toppserien was putting 1.2 million kroner I believe into each team when I arrived in 2008 (something like 250,000 CDN $), under the terms of a concept called Jenteløftet (translated loosely as “raising up the women”), that was supposed to really push women’s soccer forward in Norway.
But as I have seen, just too often there were people handed that money that knew nothing about business or about marketing, and that just pissed the money away. Everything from a TV show that was put out in the beginning to “market” the league, that had players acting on some kind of a pirate theme, to handing out flyers at the train station, to random people that were trying not to make eye contact with us. There just seemed to be no plan or anyone with marketing or business acumen that truly believed that they would do what it took to make this league fly, with the great investment that was initially made. To see the absolute travesty, and borderline criminal way that was the money was handled at Donn this year, by someone who had the key to the bank account but absolutely no qualifications and a shady reputation to boot already in town, just makes me so sad. Not just for the great team that I had a chance to be a part of, in the second half of 2010, but just for women’s soccer in the south of Norway in general, that has lost a top team to poor management.
In the case now, as we have seen in the WPS with St Louis Athletica, when financial times get hard, the women seem to be the first to get cut, and now the NFF (Norwegian Football Federation) has cut the budget down to 1 million kroner this year, to 600,000 kr next year to 400,000 kr in 2012, the year that was supposed to be the climax of the grandiose plan that was unveiled in the beginning. It just makes me sad. For me, the time just seems right to leave. I have been here for three years, I have seen and experienced a great deal of things in which I am so grateful for, and now its time for a new experience, a new challenge.
At this point, I am planning to go back to North America to get healthy and fit again, and get everything in order with girlsCAN close to home, and then I may see what the opportunities are to play overseas again, or perhaps will stay home for W League and look to go after the summer. My goals for 2011, are going to be primarily focused on doing what I need to do to be sharp physically, technically and tactically to be an impact player for Ireland, and continue to grow girlsCAN.
On that note, I will be heading to Nigeria November 25, but I will save the exciting details of that for my next post.
I will leave you with a fantastic video that my friend Shannon presented at our year end party for Donn, that to me truly captures what this is all about.