Author Topic: Emma Byrne  (Read 32057 times)

Offline Gooner

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #60 on: October 14, 2008, 01:33:10 PM »
A really good interview done by Paul Croughton of the Sunday Times.

Emma Byrne: C'mon, take your best shot, boys

The Arsenal goalkeeper says women’s football may lack the glitz of the men’s game but it is catching up in terms of skill

by Paul Croughton

Ask any footballer about their earliest memories of the game and nine times out of 10, you’ll get a lot of rosy-hued talk of kickabouts in the park. Emma Byrne is less nostalgic. The Arsenal Ladies goalkeeper recalls a childhood initiation that involved standing in goal and trying not to get hit in the face while her two elder brothers mimicked their footballing heroes in the back garden of their home in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before the brothers tired of their game because, as sisters often do, Byrne spoilt it — after all, George Best never had his shots saved by a girl. The little sister quickly outpaced her brothers, shot up to 6ft by the time she reached her teens and was soon selected for the Ireland female under-16s.

She is now tending goal for the Irish national squad as well as the team that has dominated the Women’s Premier League ever since its inception in 1992. Arsenal Ladies have won the women’s Premier League title seven times in the past eight seasons. Or to put it another way, in all but one of the years Byrne, 29, has been with the club.

In the 2006-7 season, they did what no Premier League team, of either sex, has done before or since, and won all their League games, as well as claiming the Premier League, FA, League and Uefa Cups. At the time of going to press, Arsenal Ladies were top of the League (out of 12 teams), having won all seven of their matches since the start of the new season. Such success breeds an unusual problem.

“It’s harder to motivate yourself,” Byrne admits, “when you know you’re going to dominate teams and probably win by at least two goals.

“We got complacent, and Everton beat us last season in the League Cup final. That was a bit of a disaster. But we’re in the Uefa Cup again this season and we’re playing the team that knocked us out last year, so that’s the best kind of motivation.”

Football is the fastest growing participation sport among women in Britain. There are now 150,000 women registered to accredited teams, compared with just 20,000 a decade ago, according to the Football Association. Byrne insists the women’s game is catching up with the men’s where it matters. “At Arsenal the same tactics are used for the men and the women. Obviously the girls aren’t as strong and as quick as the men, but we have the same level of determination and commitment.

“I don’t think the women’s game will ever be at the same stage as the men’s in terms of profile, but we’re definitely getting better.”

The two games remain a million miles apart in terms of pay and lifestyle. While a top male Premier League player might earn £100,000 a week or more, Byrne is, strictly speaking, only semi-professional. To make ends meet, she works as a coach for Arsenal Ladies Academy, training younger players, and earns less than £30,000 a year.

She boosts her pay by working as an ambassador for Nike’s Here I Am campaign to encourage more girls to get into sport. All the Arsenal Ladies players get a flat-rate bonus for a win, “which wouldn’t buy a round if there were six of you”, she says. She lives in a two-bedroom house in the village of Shenley, Hertfordshire, which she describes as “small and cosy” — not adjectives you’d use to describe Beckingham Palace.

Things could be about to change. It’s testament to the huge worldwide growth of women’s football in recent years that Major League Soccer, the American football league, which includes Los Angeles Galaxy, David Beckham’s current team, has recently announced plans for a women’s professional league. The new league will kick off next spring and a number of players at Arsenal Ladies have been approached by clubs from Boston, Chicago and elsewhere, including Byrne.

“It’s very flattering, and it puts English football on the map, as they’re chasing the best players in the world, and they clearly think Arsenal are one of the best teams,” she says. “We haven’t even discussed contracts yet, but America’s a long way to go, and at the moment I’m happy here.”

Closer to home, the FA is considering holding the Women’s Premier League during the summer months from 2010. One of the major obstacles for the women’s game at the moment is that their games often clash with the men’s, and most football fans choose to watch the latter. “If I was still a kid, I know I would,” admits Byrne, although she is frequently met by a knee-high gaggle of girls wanting autographs as she leaves the pitch.

With long limbs and big, powerful hands, she’s an imposing presence between the posts. But off the pitch, Byrne insists she loves designer shoes as much as the next woman — “though my boyfriend [Marcus Bignot, who plays for Millwall] is shorter than me so I don’t get to wear high heels that much”.

“I can’t say we’re all exactly like Pamela Anderson,” she says, of her team-mates, laughing, “but the girls in the dressing room are really feminine. To be honest, sometimes they can be a bit too girlie in the tackles.”

The regime

DIET

For breakfast I’ll have cereal, usually Special K Red Berries, with wholemeal toast. I’m never hungry after my lunchtime gym session. I’ll have a strawberry Maximuscle protein shake, which is really sickly, or a protein bar, which tastes worse but at least is easier to get down. I have dinner at about 5pm, usually chicken, fish or pasta. We’re not allowed to drink alcohol during the week. I might have a glass of wine after the game on Sunday, but I generally save it for the end of the season.

TRAINING

Sundays are usually match days and I train from Monday to Saturday, as well as coaching younger players. I pay a lot of attention to core exercises — those that target the abdominal and back muscles and provide strength, stability and flexibility. We have a circuit training routine designed to work these muscle groups. We do each exercise for 45 seconds and the whole circuit takes about 4Å minutes to complete. We follow it with a 12-minute run, then start the circuit again.

Explosive power is also important to give force to your kicks and dives. “Yo-yo tests” can help. These involve alternating from jogging to sprinting between a set of cones.

I do about two hours in the gym every day, then the rest of my time is given to technical aspects of the game, such as what angle to dive, how to dominate the box. There’s a lot to get right.

Byrne's perfect penalty save

Observation is the key. Watch how the penalty taker places the ball — do they look in one direction for longer than another, and which foot do they use? “If the shooter is right-footed they favour down to my right, because they’re kicking across their body, generating more power,” says Byrne. “The way their hips turn on the run-up can also give away the direction they’re going to aim in.”

REDUCE THE TARGET AREA

“The first thing to remember is that the person taking the penalty is much more nervous than you,” says Byrne. “That should work to your advantage.” Stand tall and spread your arms out wide to make the goal look smaller. Distracting movements can also help break the shooter’s concentration. “Players sometimes look at the opposite post to the one their aiming for but, with experience, you can usually tell when they’re bluffing.”

THE DIVE

The rules state that the goalkeeper must wait until the ball is kicked before moving but most referees will ignore a small step. The aim is to dive just before the kick is taken. Commit fully to your chosen direction and cover as much ground as you can to avoid the shot sneaking in. “The only way they should score is if they put it in the corner,” says Byrne, “because my reach is quite long.”

STRONG HANDS

“By diving slightly forward of the goal, you have more chance of turning the ball round the post. Use both hands and push the ball as far away as possible.” If you succeed in saving the penalty, you need to get back on your feet as quickly as possible because the shot could be rebounded.

Kit bag

ADIDAS ABSOLADO BOOT £40 www.adidas.com/football

This is a cut-down version of Adidas’s popular Predator boot, but slimmer and for women. See our recent group test of football boots at tinyurl.com/5yxzfu

PUMA V-KONSTRUKT GLOVES £50 www.pumafootball.com

Good goalkeeping gloves reduce the risk of hand injury and can prevent you spilling that crucial cross. You should always try them for fit and grip before buying. Most gloves have latex palms and these Pumas also have removable spines in the fingers and thumb — for protection from fierce shots.

REUSCH ERGO KEVLAR GK PANT £40 www.reusch.com

Goalkeepers’ training bottoms contain padding on the hips and knees for protection while practising dives. This padding is especially important at the start of the season, when the ground is likely to be particularly hard. Reusch specialises in goalkeeping equipment and these durable Kevlar trousers should certainly last the season


http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/diet_and_fitness/article4919719.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/diet_and_fitness/article4919719.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/diet_and_fitness/article4919719.ece?token=null&offset=24&page=3

Offline smithy

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #61 on: October 14, 2008, 06:12:50 PM »
Nice interview there.  Sounds like she wont be going to the states then if she's happy here.

I've had that shake she's talking about and it's really disgusting , never again.

Offline redrobin

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #62 on: October 15, 2008, 12:17:02 PM »
Just to keep the thread up to date, at the end of September Emma was picked by the Boston Breakers as an international player they would like to add to their squad for the inaugural WPS season in summer 2009.

The American league have agreed that the Breakers should have WPS negotiation rights with Emma to see if she is willing to sign for their team.
 

Offline Dezxoxo

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #63 on: October 15, 2008, 05:36:32 PM »
Just to keep the thread up to date, at the end of September Emma was picked by the Boston Breakers as an international player they would like to add to their squad for the inaugural WPS season in summer 2009.

The American league have agreed that the Breakers should have WPS negotiation rights with Emma to see if she is willing to sign for their team.
 


im not surprised they want her, but i hope for the british league she doesnt go, top keeper! ;D

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #64 on: October 15, 2008, 06:49:55 PM »
Just to keep the thread up to date, at the end of September Emma was picked by the Boston Breakers as an international player they would like to add to their squad for the inaugural WPS season in summer 2009.

The American league have agreed that the Breakers should have WPS negotiation rights with Emma to see if she is willing to sign for their team.
 


im not surprised they want her, but i hope for the british league she doesnt go, top keeper! ;D

Yea we could do a swop...Emma could come to Everton and Brownie down to Arsenal....


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Offline Dezxoxo

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #65 on: October 15, 2008, 08:36:12 PM »
Just to keep the thread up to date, at the end of September Emma was picked by the Boston Breakers as an international player they would like to add to their squad for the inaugural WPS season in summer 2009.

The American league have agreed that the Breakers should have WPS negotiation rights with Emma to see if she is willing to sign for their team.
 


im not surprised they want her, but i hope for the british league she doesnt go, top keeper! ;D

Yea we could do a swop...Emma could come to Everton and Brownie down to Arsenal....

when Brownie leaves i want Dani back!

Offline twmcat

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #66 on: October 18, 2008, 12:21:45 AM »
Nice interview there.  Sounds like she wont be going to the states then if she's happy here.

I've had that shake she's talking about and it's really disgusting , never again.
Stick to your usual lager ;)
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline OOH Fayefan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2008, 12:30:26 PM »
having seen the highlights of the Lyon match, I thought Emma was at fault with all 3 goals.....it wasnt all  bad defending although the ball was lost in midfield for the first goal... :(
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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2008, 12:41:26 PM »
having seen the highlights of the Lyon match, I thought Emma was at fault with all 3 goals.....it wasnt all  bad defending although the ball was lost in midfield for the first goal... :(
I think she anticipated the shot the wrong way. The defender got beaten by Schelin too easily but the origin of the goal is of course the ball lost in a dangerous area.
Second ball, nobody blocked the cross and the marking wasn't good. Goalie has no chance, header from close range.
Same with third goal, defenders swapped forwards after Necib released superbly Thomis who is a fast player and Schelin finished superbly,  Emma has no chance to get it.

Offline OOH Fayefan

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2008, 12:44:23 PM »
I disagree with that....from what I saw, Emma could have got to the 2nd and 3rd goals but her anticipation/reaction did not look quick enough, which is unusual for her.....take your point on the first one...it looked worse for us  because it was such a weak looking shot.
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Offline John

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2009, 12:31:14 AM »
A date for your diary. Emma Byrne is the featured player under the Spotlight on Arsenal TV on Monday, March 2. Program is on from 19:00 to 19:15. They will talk about her career. The program is usually then made available to ATVO subscribers.
YOU NEVER WIN OR LOSE AS AN INDIVIDUAL, YOU NEVER WIN OR LOSE AS A TEAM - WE ALL WIN OR LOSE TOGETHER AS A CLUB

Offline twmcat

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2009, 02:12:45 AM »
A date for your diary. Emma Byrne is the featured player under the Spotlight on Arsenal TV on Monday, March 2. Program is on from 19:00 to 19:15. They will talk about her career. The program is usually then made available to ATVO subscribers.
Again - I have to ask when will ATVO show it?
Arsenal TV used to be available via ATVO last year, but no longer.

I spent years subscribing to Sky, including Sports and Movies, but it was well over £40 pm - I could have saved around £6 by ditching movies, but watched one or two a month, so no point really.
Then - when I moved (after divorce) couldn't be bothered committing myself to that - especially as the Arsenal games shown were quite restricted anyway - and some were ppv - £7 or so extra to watch.
Now Setanta has joined in - I've no idea how much they charge, but can't be bothered.

Games are now generally available through links shown on www.myp2p.eu - a couple of minutes behind the action maybe, but, at least I can watch Arsenal v Fulham tomorrow more or less live  ;)
It's not as good quality watching online as it is on tv, but there's no channel that will be showing 3pm Saturday kick-offs.

The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline John

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2009, 02:34:14 AM »
I have noticed a lot of the spotlight interviews appearing on ATVO. I don't have ATVO but seen the links.

Can you not get cable?
YOU NEVER WIN OR LOSE AS AN INDIVIDUAL, YOU NEVER WIN OR LOSE AS A TEAM - WE ALL WIN OR LOSE TOGETHER AS A CLUB

Offline Gooner

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2009, 01:23:40 PM »
A date for your diary. Emma Byrne is the featured player under the Spotlight on Arsenal TV on Monday, March 2. Program is on from 19:00 to 19:15. They will talk about her career. The program is usually then made available to ATVO subscribers.
Again - I have to ask when will ATVO show it?
Arsenal TV used to be available via ATVO last year, but no longer.

It was confirmed on the Arsenal website that the spotlight interview with Arsenal Ladies goalkeeper Emma Byrne is scheduled to be on ATVO on Wednesday, 18 March.

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/your-guide-to-the-week-on-arsenal-tv-online

Offline twmcat

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #74 on: March 09, 2009, 11:28:55 PM »
A date for your diary. Emma Byrne is the featured player under the Spotlight on Arsenal TV on Monday, March 2. Program is on from 19:00 to 19:15. They will talk about her career. The program is usually then made available to ATVO subscribers.
Again - I have to ask when will ATVO show it?
Arsenal TV used to be available via ATVO last year, but no longer.

It was confirmed on the Arsenal website that the spotlight interview with Arsenal Ladies goalkeeper Emma Byrne is scheduled to be on ATVO on Wednesday, 18 March.

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/your-guide-to-the-week-on-arsenal-tv-online

It seems to be taking longer and longer these days to get these things on ATVO - that's 16 days after Arsenal TV  :(

They seem to forget that we do have to pay to watch ATVO. I'd understand if it was free.
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Gooner

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #75 on: March 10, 2009, 01:35:48 PM »
It was the featured spotlight interview for about a week on the TV channel.

Offline twmcat

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #76 on: March 11, 2009, 12:36:47 AM »
It was the featured spotlight interview for about a week on the TV channel.

I don't want to sign up to Setanta for that, but - out of interest, how much is it and what do you get?

I assume you can get it through their Freeview channel?
The pic is Tytti Porkka of Finland - I actually took it myself, but have lost all my pics and have no more :(

Offline Gooner

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2009, 01:56:49 PM »
It was the featured spotlight interview for about a week on the TV channel.

I don't want to sign up to Setanta for that, but - out of interest, how much is it and what do you get?

I assume you can get it through their Freeview channel?

Arsenal TV is only available on satalite and cable platforms.

Cable is only through Virgin Media. Arsenal TV can only be viewed by Virgin Media customers with the XL package.  See the following site for full channel listing: http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/sorter/channels_sizexl.html

Satalite is on the Sky platform. You would have to subscribe to Sky with channels and costs available by looking at the following site: http://packages.sky.com/see/. You would then be able to add the Setanta Sports package by going to the following Setanta site: http://www.setanta.com/uk/How-To-Subscribe/Satellite/. The 11 Setanta Sports channels you would get on satalite: Setanta Sports 1, Setanta Sports 2, Setanta Sports News, Setanta Golf, Setanta Ireland, Arsenal TV, LFC TV, Celtic TV, Rangers TV, Racing UK and ESPN America.

It seems like Setanta, Virgin Media and Sky all have offers on at the moment.

Hope the above is of interest.

shlj

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #78 on: March 11, 2009, 02:17:39 PM »
For those who missed the comment on the reserve thread, Emma played center forward on Sunday for 10 minutes  :)

Offline smithy

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Re: Emma Byrne
« Reply #79 on: March 11, 2009, 06:08:01 PM »
And how did she do ?