Author Topic: Emma Byrne  (Read 24547 times)

Offline David

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Emma Byrne
« on: April 13, 2007, 10:11:36 PM »
Top keeper Byrne eyes Euro glory with Ladies

While one tall, blonde Arsenal custodian weighs up his options for the summer and beyond, another is entering the most exciting few weeks of her career.

Jens Lehmann may be pondering over the offer a one-year deal to remain at The Emirates, but for another respected international goalkeeper, Emma Byrne, the holy grail of European glory is within touching distance.

Arsenal Ladies' indisputable No 1 is regarded as the finest in the Womens' Premier League by some margin.

She is the best keeper in the best team.

With five Premiership titles, four FA Cup and five League Cup winners' medals in her vice-like grip, the Republic of Ireland international is now eyeing the most important club medal in women's world club football, the Uefa Cup.

"This is such an exciting time for us. We've tried so hard to get to the final in previous seasons but not quite managed it," she told Wood&Vale Sport, ahead of the two-legged final later this month against Swedish giants Umea IK.

"We have reached the semi-finals and quarter-finals but the final eluded us for so long.

"Maybe it starts playing on your mind. But this season we have pooled together all those experiences of the past and become a better side for it.

"It is a monumental achievement to do what we have done and each and every member of the squad is so proud."

The 6ft tall keeper knows, though, that the hard part is still to come. It's been a long wait since November's 5-2 aggregate semi-final win over Danish side Brondby IF and in Umea they take on a side recently ranked as the best in the world.

Arsenal are fourth, but Byrne is under no illusions about the task ahead, admitting the gap still needs closing.

"It's a big ask," she admitted. "It is the absolute pinnacle of the women's game and will be the toughest match of all our careers, no doubt about it.

"They have so much quality and strength in-depth and have won this competition three times in the past, which says it all really. But we are a team with a lot of ability and we know that with hard work we can beat anyone.

"Make no mistake, we are there on merit."

It is a different story to the domestic game. While Arsenal have regularly met their match on the continent with strong leagues in Germany, Italy and Scandinavia producing a number of outstanding sides, the women's domestic league back in Blighty is seriously lagging.

Take a look at the current league table and the Gunners - who picked up the League Cup last month and are in the final of the FA Cup next month where they meet Charlton - are staring down from their lofty perch once again.

The reigning champions and dominant force in England for nearly two decades, they currently boast a record of played 15, won 15. A total of 95 goals have been scored, while Byrne has only picked the ball out of the six four times. It clearly frustrates her. "It's been the easiest year of my career, to be honest," said the 27-year-old - and she's not boasting.

"We have not really played any team that have really had a go at us. No other team in England can touch us.

"I'll be honest, the toughest games I have are in training because we play each other. We keep each other on our toes.

"You must also remember we have something like eight of the England team in our squad - and they are the best around."

So why have Arsenal, managed by Vic Akers, been so dominant and managed to attract and develop the best?

"We have the most amazing facilities at our disposal, which is a massive help. We are extremely lucky because we use the men's training ground and that is great," she explained.

"We also have the experience. The standard is getting better at junior level and things will improve some day - but not yet."

Byrne has represented her country at every age group and is currently Ireland's No 1 keeper with 56 senior caps. Since moving across the Irish Sea in 1998 it has been a story of virtually non-stop success at Arsenal.

Along with more than a dozen medals, she has been recognised by her peers, picking up two Players' Player of the Year awards in 2003 and 2005. She said Ladies' boss Akers, who doubles as Arsene Wenger's kit manager, is the reason for so much of her success.

"He is like a father figure to all the girls," she said with genuine affection.

"When I and some of the other Irish girls first moved over we were homesick, but he was always there for us.

"The boss is such a good man who works so hard and cares passionately about the team. I mean it when I say this final is for him - I'm pleased for him more than anyone."

But the Gunners face Umea without their leading player, Kelly Smith, who misses both legs of the final through suspension after an unwise gesture to the crowd in the semi-final was punished by Uefa. Smith is the club's leading scorer with 19 in 22 starts this term and Byrne concedes it is a huge loss.

"We'll miss her because she is class," she said. "But when she doesn't play we change the way we approach the game.

"Everything normally goes through her, much like Thierry Henry. Remember, though, we have a lot of very good players and hopefully we can cope. But yes, it is a blow."

Akers, on the other hand, is already plotting Umea's downfall. And Byrne believes whatever the outcome, he should be rewarded for his contribution to the women's game.

"He needs to be recognised for what he has done," she said. "I don't know how, maybe an MBE or something - it's the very least he deserves.

http://woodandvale.london24.net/woodandvale/sport/story.aspx?brand=NorthLondon24&category=Sportarsenal&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=sport&itemid=WeED13%20Apr%202007%2016%3A59%3A02%3A567

Offline David

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2007, 02:11:05 PM »
Goalkeeper Emma Byrne has revealed how Umea’s apparent over-confidence ahead of the Uefa Women’s Cup Final first leg served as a psychological boost to Arsenal Ladies.

The expectation in Sweden was that their champions would ease to victory against the Gunners. Yet Alex Scott’s 90th-minute wonder strike is the difference between the sides going into Sunday’s second leg at Boreham Wood FC.

Republic of Ireland international Byrne admits their opponents’ light-hearted approach to warming up inspired Arsenal’s unexpected triumph.

“They came across as quite confident,” she told Arsenal.com. “Even in the warm up, when we were doing the usual exercises, they were in a circle playing keepie-ups. That wound us up a little bit more I think because they seemed to think they had it in the bag.”

If the hosts were stunned, the win was no shock to Byrne. The 27-year-old, who has won five league titles, two FA Cups and three League Cups in her nine seasons at the Club, is fully aware of Arsenal’s capabilities. For that she credits her manager and the founding father of the Club, Vic Akers.

“Vic has been an absolute pillar in the women’s game,” said Byrne. “I don’t think it’s recognised as much as it should be. For 20 years now his team has dominated women’s football. For somebody to give as much as he does, in every aspect of his life is incredible.

“Everything he does is for the game - he gives up so much time, effort and commitment and he deserves some kind of recognition. If he doesn’t get it from the hierarchies we’ll definitely be winning it for him.”

On Sunday Byrne has the chance to add the most prestigious honour of them all to her already sizeable list. She has called on the fans to play their part with Arsenal needing only to avoid defeat to clinch the Uefa Women’s Cup for the first time.

“We’re thrilled to be going in [to the second leg] with a 1-0 lead,” she said. “I don’t think anybody really expected us to come away from Sweden with that scoreline and it’s nice to bring it back to our fans.

“We know it’s conflicting with the men’s game and people will have their priorities but if people turn out to support us it would be such a boost. We need that 12th man.”

http://www.arsenal.com/article.asp?thisNav=News&article=463442&cpid=703&title=Byrne+-+Umea+under-estimated+us

Offline redrobin

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2008, 09:27:45 PM »
Thought Emma needed a bump. :)

Arsenal fans on here are very complacent - you've ignored her since the winning UEFA Womens Cup Final over a year ago.

I reckon you hardly even know she's there at most games. ;) ;) ;D

shlj

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2008, 10:13:27 PM »
To be fair, we can count on one hand the number of mistakes she made during the season, she is so consistent and reliable, although she decided to leave a few games to her understudy Becky and "Julie"

Fleetings Feet

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2008, 10:23:10 PM »
..is Lehman blond?

Offline twmcat

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2008, 11:12:19 PM »
Emma is always nice to look at and she makes a lot of saves which must be difficult when she often has so little to do for most of the game :D

And - she behaves better than Lehmann ;)
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

yanksfan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2008, 07:21:04 AM »
When I saw arsenal v bristol there was an incident where jayne got tackled fairly so kelly flew into a tackle, the ref blew jayne went charging over waving her arms around, the pulled alex away who was getting involved, whilst it was all going on emma was stood at the other end of the pitch shouting to the ref to get on with things ! It cracked me up.  She has a loud voice

She is an excellent keeper, I saw the girls beat notts forrest 9-0 in november 2006 and emma pulled off a great save at the end of the game where she'd had little to do

Fleetings Feet

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2008, 09:32:41 AM »
she's tall, agile, elegant, commanding, kicks well, got great technique, handles well and has to have the best concentration in the Premier League....shame she aint English
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 12:43:21 PM by Fleetings Feet »

yanksfan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2008, 12:38:33 PM »
She is a top keeper and georgous as well

Offline dowiefan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2008, 12:43:01 PM »
typical..........haha thought ud have say that :D.........

Fleetings Feet

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2008, 12:43:58 PM »
..what ...Gorgeous~? ;) ;) ;)

shlj

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2008, 12:47:11 PM »
She is pretty but who cares as long as she saves goals...

Offline dowiefan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2008, 12:48:25 PM »
theres better looking ppl about ya know haha

Fleetings Feet

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2008, 12:48:58 PM »
I think Yanks meant she was a gorgeous keeper....as in sweet, eh ;D ;D ;)

Fleetings Feet

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2008, 12:49:40 PM »
ya mean Dowie's uncle... ;D ;D ;)

Offline dowiefan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2008, 12:55:21 PM »
hahaha yup mch better looking haha

Fleetings Feet

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2008, 12:56:12 PM »
hahaha........ya got good taste up there eh.. :o :o

Offline dowiefan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2008, 06:24:11 PM »
a dont think sm ppl go 2 watch arsenal they go watch emma warm up n stretch........ ave no idea why she does it cause its not like she has much 2 do

yanksfan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2008, 06:30:22 PM »
Emma is a top keeper and a nice las as well, dowiefan likes to embarass me in front of her though


Offline dowiefan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2008, 06:48:39 PM »
me never......... had never b embarrasing me lol................
na emma is  top n cool