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Messages - BillyBoy

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The FA WSL / Re: Manchester City Women's Football Club
« on: January 25, 2014, 05:16:52 PM »
Manchester City relaunch women's side to much fanfare and investment

• They get more training, five pro players and a new stadium
• Aim is to challenge Arsenal and Liverpool

Manuel Pellegrini, Patrick Vieira and a packed out auditorium studded with television cameras – welcome to Manchester City's vision of women's football at the launch of Manchester City Women's FC (MCWFC).

The club formerly known as Manchester City Ladies FC have been taken under the wing of the men's club, revamped and thrust into the limelight with five new signings – including the former Arsenal captain Steph Houghton, the England stars Jill Scott and Toni Duggan, and the goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.

The new look is extraordinary. Where once nine-times league winners Arsenal Ladies, sharing the men's facilities at London Colney, set the benchmark for club football in this country, now Manchester City – along with Liverpool, last season's Women's Super League (WSL) winners – are blowing apart the traditional parameters for a women's club.

While Arsenal train four times a week, City's professional players are already training twice a day. And then there's the pre-season stint in La Manga. And a share of the state-of-the-art training facilities that the men's team will be using from the start of next season. And a brand new 7,000-seat stadium to play in from 2015. It's practically a revolution.

Not everyone will be happy. Accusations of money trumping football heritage have dogged the announcement that MCWFC, rather than Sunderland Women FC – producers of England senior team talent such as Jill Scott, Houghton, Jordan Nobbs and Lucy Bronze, and repeat winners of the old National Premier League title – will go straight into the premier tier of the WSL, and there's the sad tale of the legendary Doncaster Rovers Belles' forced relegation from the WSL last year as part of the shakeup. Equally some may feel that City's revolution does not go far enough: only the five professional contracted players will have access to full-time training, the rest of the squad in effect remaining amateur.

For the former Everton striker Toni Duggan, though, the changes are a no-brainer. "I've always had this argument," said the 22-year-old. "A lot of the fans and a lot of the players out there are saying women's football needs more money, women's football needs more whatever. Man City have come in and put that in place. Now they're turning their back on it and saying it's a bad thing. For me they're leading the way."

Speculation over how much Manchester City are investing in their women's setup is rife but the head of women's football, Gavin Makel, insisted it bears comparison with Liverpool and Chelsea. The five big-name signings aside, City have kept eight players from the original team, while the back-room staff is nearly identical, with only the manager, Nick Cushing, a new addition. Remarkably Cushing has no experience of coaching women's football, and only academy level experience up to under-14s with the men. He does, however, have a Uefa A licence, which – unlike the men's Premier League – is a prerequisite for managers in the WSL.

Duggan is resolute that City's plans signal the future. "This is life-changing. We don't have to work now so it has a massive impact on our life. We're professionals compared to what we used to be – [when we were] training twice a week and working a full-time job – that's not good for anyone, so we've grabbed the opportunity. I think fans need to look at the bigger picture and not just think it's the club throwing money at the players."

Patrick Vieira, head coach of the elite development squad for the men at City, described himself as a "big fan" of the women's game having seen its development through his time at Arsenal Ladies, and the progression of the France national team. "I am excited, when we look at the last few years, the way they have improved technically. Technically, it is unbelievable. You look at the international games. They are really comfortable on the ball.

"When we have the new facilities we will share, and of course the [City] boys will come to watch them train and play, and interact with the coaches, and I think they're part of the Manchester City family. That is good it's showing that there is no difference, there is one family and we are together and I think that's good we're going to share ideas and knowledge and I think it's good for Manchester and the country as well. There are so many young girls who want to play football, and it shows there can be a pathway, football can be a job as well like the men."

Vieira said he had witnessed a change in attitude from the men's players since he signed for Arsenal. "Of course [things have changed]. In the past it was just about, I don't want to say ignorance but a little bit like that. If you have no knowledge or education of how women can play football it's like everything else, if you go to school and learn and have knowledge you have a better view of ladies football."


European Women's Football / Re: Norwegian players 2014
« on: January 06, 2014, 08:59:12 PM »
Ingvild Stensland's outfit looks a bit like a onesie to me, but admittedly I'm no fashion expert.  ;D

Women's Football / Re: Womens Football recognition Petition
« on: August 28, 2012, 06:18:19 PM »
Yes, I see what you mean. But presumably they would have to score lower on many of the attributes for it to remain realistic?

Both male and female players have long hair, and so no additional programming there.  :P

Would you allow mixed teams? Men v women etc

Women's Football / Re: Womens Football recognition Petition
« on: August 28, 2012, 05:59:15 PM »
It might be a bit too nerdy for this board... But then again.

I wonder how much additional programming would be needed to represent women. I've not played any of these games for years now. Would all the female players have to be slower than all the men to make it realistic?  ;)

More code means it would cost more??? Why not just have an expansion pack or something for those that are interested, and then those who aren't can avoid any additional cost.

England International Football / Re: Team GB London Olympics 2012
« on: August 04, 2012, 05:58:15 PM »
If football was like painting most teams have the primary colors like Canada or Sweden, some have the full rainbow range like USA, France or Japan and what does England/Team GB have black and white....

Some great works of art only utilise shades of black and white.

Players / Re: Steph Houghton
« on: August 04, 2012, 05:49:46 PM »

Players / Re: Steph Houghton
« on: August 03, 2012, 06:43:35 PM »

England International Football / Re: Team GB London Olympics 2012
« on: July 25, 2012, 10:40:19 PM »
Look at the squad and its 90% England-

Population of England is probably something over 80% of that of GB, and so that's not too surprising really is it?

England International Football / Re: Team GB London Olympics 2012
« on: July 25, 2012, 10:31:18 PM »
If I was a Kiwi, I would be pretty miffed that I was coming all this way to take part in my very first Olympics , billed as London 2012, and having to play in a different country altogether. With all apologies to the Welsh, why could the very first game not be played at Wembley if it features Team England, or at least in the Capital?

Just spare a thought for those poor beggars who have travelled half way around the world to play in places like Coventry, Newcastle and heaven forbid Scotland...  :D

Seriously though... there's quite enough of these games taking place in London, and I for one am delighted that some events are taking place elsewhere.

Given they were in the Euro I'm pretty sure he has a loss.

Hodgson was referring to play during 90mins or extra time, but didn't include the penalty shoot out, which led to the loss, and exit from the Euro.

England International Football / Re: Fara aims for Olympic legacy
« on: July 18, 2012, 08:57:59 PM »
Team GB = England + 2  ;) , if they dont reach the final, no one will care, it will be lost in the middle of all the other medals.

So, so negative...  ;)

It is a good opportunity to showcase themselves, and the first game is live on BBC 1 before the opening ceremony with the world's media waiting. Any medal will be the icing on the cake, and will be a great achievement.

Team GB = Team GB and although people might have disagreements about the squad selection, at the end of the day in my eyes it doesn't matter whether it's all English, Scottish, Welsh or whatever combination...  :P

The manager is safe. Any failure by Team GB will rest squarely on the shoulders of the Scottish players.  ;)

The FA WSL / Re: Birmingham Finances
« on: June 05, 2012, 07:24:30 PM »
Remember that £1 will soon be worth a €1000 though... or is that the other way around.  :)

Women's Football / Re: Womens GB Olympic squad
« on: May 24, 2012, 10:49:19 PM »
In a word no. Done a quick search on the net, and can find virtually nothing.

The Olympics have been selling tickets for a while though, and so it's not really odd that you can get tickets for those even though they are later in time.

England International Football / Re: Team GB London Olympics 2012
« on: May 09, 2012, 09:50:12 PM »
Ticket update...

The first event of the London 2012 Olympics could be played in an almost empty stadium, it emerged last night. Only 11,000 tickets, a seventh of the capacity, have been sold for the Great Britain women’s football team’s match against New Zealand in Cardiff on July 25, two days before the opening ceremony. Organisers have only 11 weeks to fill the 74,500-seat Millennium Stadium and avoid a hugely embarrassing start to the Games.

By contrast, 62,000 tickets have been sold for the Great Britain men’s football team’s match against Senegal at Old Trafford the following day.

I suppose it depends what angle you want to take, but do these reporters have it all wrong??? 11,000 tickets sold 2 months in advance is quite good... isn't it? If they filled the stadium wouldn't that be a (British) record.

England International Football / Re: Team GB London Olympics 2012
« on: April 28, 2012, 07:31:33 AM »
Ok thanks for that list Pat.

You're quite right. The tournament does bring together many of the world's best teams, and I suppose most people have the chance to see at least some games live, and the other matches will probably get tv coverage too. I've never had the chance  :P, but getting a medal must be wonderful.

England International Football / Re: Team GB London Olympics 2012
« on: April 27, 2012, 06:52:38 PM »
Team GB ?  I'll wait and see who gets picked before getting too keen .

Ahh... I see. So you've got your fingers crossed that they wheel David Beckham out for the tournament.  ;) It's always been his dream, and he has no interest in the publicity.  ;D

Where is a nice concise fixture list? with venues etc

England International Football / Re: Team GB London Olympics 2012
« on: April 27, 2012, 06:20:12 PM »
What's Kelly Smith's chances of making the squad? I read that she had aggravated a foot injury at a photo shoot or something...

Is she still the regarded as the main hero or is she over the hill and fading now... I'm not being disrespectful or anything... just asking

I seem to remember her not having the best of tournaments at Euro 2005 after she came back from injury.

England International Football / Re: Team GB London Olympics 2012
« on: April 27, 2012, 06:05:55 PM »
Not been around this forum much for a long time... some might even think that is a good thing.  ;)

When is the GB squad finalised? There doesn't seem much interest in the topic, and I can't recall having seen much in the papers etc.

I know football is not regarded as an Olympic sport by many, and Team GB doesn't have any real identity in football terms, but it is a shame for the women in particular that one of their biggest tournaments is edging nearer with little interest. Maybe you could ask what's new about that.  ;D

Still I suppose if the football starts first at the games... then we'll have to hear something from the legions of media people who will be there.

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