Afternoon everyone, I’m Arsenal’s Gilly Flaherty. Welcome to my blog!
I am currently writing this blog before one of my final boxing training sessions. This Friday night (2nd of August) I have my first ever charity boxing fight. Some people think I am absolutely crazy to be having this fight, and perhaps these people may be right or they may be wrong, but this is something I have to do, for several reasons.
The main reason is because I am raising money for Millwall Girls Centre Of Excellence for the 2013/14 season. I work as a coach there and I am now entering my fourth season with them. The money we raise will be a massive boost for the club and I know it will go towards great things for the girls.
I was a player at Millwall’s Centre of Excellence when I was growing up so the club means a hell of a lot to me. It’s in my blood, so anything I can do to help the club out I will…even if that includes taking a few hits to the chops 😉
Secondly, I am doing the fight to show people that I can. When I first signed up to this about three months ago, nearly everybody laughed as soon as they found out. The banter I have received has been constant!
But I have put myself through 10 weeks of hard work, travelling over an hour and a bit for midweek sessions and then giving up my Saturday mornings all for this fight. For three rounds of two minutes…But I know this fight will mean more to me than just a scrap. I want to show people that if I put my mind to it I can achieve anything I want to.
No one expects me to be any good, but I’ve learned a lot over the 10 weeks, not just in regards to technique but about myself too. I’ve learned to take a hit – several times to the face may I add! – and come back every time. There have been sessions when I have come away and I’ve questioned if me doing this fight was such a good thing after all. But I refuse to give up, and I refuse to let people down. I refuse to let down the 60+ people who have bought tickets to support me, and the people who have donated generously to the cause. And I also refuse to let down the players and staff – and the club as a whole – at Millwall. I’m nervous and I’m excited for Friday…let’s just hope I do everybody proud!
I’m pleased that I had boxing training to keep me busy throughout the break as I was able to mentally relax from football. Next Saturday we resume our league campaign against the current league leaders Liverpool.
The league is so tight and anybody can beat anyone. We have everything to play for so the second half of the season should be an interesting one. If there is one thing I can promise the fans of Arsenal Ladies it is this…whatever happens in the next few months – I won’t be giving up on our league title or our Continental Cup without a fight…
Until that final whistle blows on the last day of our season I will keep fighting for this club. It is in our own hands to lose both and we will need every single fan to support us for the res of the season!
Please don’t for one minute think we don’t recognize or appreciate the time you give up to come and watch us play, or all the tweets of support you send us!
I know that regardless of what happens in my fight this Friday, or what happens this season, I’ll always have the support of my Arsenal/Football family.