Gemma Bonner – Living the Dream

(Courtesy of Liverpool Ladies FC)

(Courtesy of Liverpool Ladies FC)

Pre-season training is now under way and the fact I can start 2014 as a professional footballer is a dream come true.

It has been an interesting off-season seeing all the movement that has taken place with players coming over to play in the FA WSL from countries like America and Australia, while some of my international teammates have also been moving clubs.

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Gemma Davison, Martha Harris and Libby Stout, our new signings, and I can honestly say I am really excited by their arrivals as they add real quality to our squad.  Having experience of playing against Gemma, I know she will pose a big attacking threat for opposition teams whilst Martha and Libby will add extra quality to our backline.  I think it’s great overseas players want to come here as it means we have to keep improving to stay at the top. As players you want to be tested against the best and I think we’ll be doing that this year.

New signing Libby Stout (Picture courtesy of Liverpool FC)

New signing Libby Stout (Picture courtesy of Liverpool FC)

Early in January I was away with England in La Manga and it was great to get started with the new Manager Mark Sampson. There were a lot of new faces, and there was a real buzz about the squad and now everyone is looking ahead and vying for selection at the Cyprus Cup.

A lot of the girls have been involved in the setup in some capacity, but it was a fresh start for everyone. Mark and Marianne Spacey focused a lot on creating the right environment whilst working hard and playing with a smile on our faces!

It was great to kick a ball again after the winter break especially after the torture of fitness testing the week prior to La Manga which gave us time to overcome the severe DOMS we all had from it.

A massive highlight of the trip for me was been given the privilege to captain the side in a training game against Ireland while out in Spain. It was a big surprise but absolute privilege. It’s always been my dream to play for England, but to captain the team was something special that I’ll always remember.

Gemma leading the handshakes against Ireland (Picture courtesy of Gilly Flaherty)

Gemma leading the handshakes against Ireland (Picture courtesy of Gilly Flaherty)

The following match against Norway was a great test against a really good side, and for us as a new group we were happy with the performance although it’s always disappointing conceding a goal late on to finish with a 1-1 draw.

My focus is now on Liverpool and to be now training in a the full-time environment is great. We want to make the most of it and ensure we are ready for when the season starts.

Finally I would like to congratulate my team mate Tash Dowie on being the runner-up for the BT Sport Action Woman of the Year, it is a massive achievement for her and well deserved after having a great season with us!

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