Captain’s Blog by Gemma Bonner – An eye opening week in many ways

Gemma Bonner

It’s been a busy and eye opening few days since making my second appearance for England last week, with the North West Football Awards taking place and a visit with some of the Liverpool staff to the Linda McCartney Centre.

The game last week against Turkey was definitely a tougher test than the home game as it’s always more challenging going into an environment that is much different to what you’re used to.

We did try and acclimatise and learn about the culture by making a visit to a local mosque, which was certainly an interesting experience and a good opportunity for some time with the team off the pitch.

Obviously the result was the important thing and to come away from the qualifiers this year with a 100% record was vital following the Euros, and from a personal perspective, another clean sheet is also very pleasing.

The Turkey match will be my last game until pre-season begins in the New Year, but my responsibilities with Liverpool will continue throughout the off-season.

Earlier this week I was honoured to be nominated for Best Women’s Player in the North West Football Awards which were held at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, alongside my England team mate Toni Duggan, and her Everton team mate, Nikita Parris. I attended with Becky Easton and SheKicks editor Jen O’Neill.  It was also nice to invite my dad along to the event.

Toni ended up taking the award and I would like to congratulate her for that. She’s had a great year and having faced her a few times last season, I know first hand how good she is.

With North West Men's Player of the Year, Jamie Carragher.

With North West Men’s Player of the Year, Jamie Carragher.

I did get to meet some great people on the night, including former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher. He was a really nice guy and won Best Male Player at the awards. He joked on the night that the one year he wins the award is the year he spent most of the season on the bench. The irony!

The glitz and glamour of awards night is always nice, but as a representative of Liverpool football club, we also have responsibilities to our local community.

Earlier this week I visited the Linda McCartney Centre with the gaffer Matt Beard, Becky Easton and Sophia Riccio.

The centre is part of the Liverpool University Hospital and treats women diagnosed with breast cancer.

With one of the patients at the centre

With one of the patients at the centre

We were shown around the unit and chatted with patients, who were really great and knew about our league title victory. We had the trophy with us, so they were keen to hold it and have their photo taken.

The staff were really friendly and the facilities are excellent, so while it was really difficult to see people so ill, I know that they are in good hands.

The person who showed us around the unit, Sheena Privett, was diagnosed with cancer in January this year, but has a big interest in sport and is now trying to do some fundraising to support the unit.

With Sheena Privett, who has just completed her treatment at the centre.

With Sheena Privett, who has just completed her treatment at the centre.

We’ve given her some signed items and will certainly be supporting her when we can, but for now, I’d really appreciate it if you visited her website www.sportsupportslm.com and showed your support.

Thanks as always for reading.

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