Gilly’s Knockout Nine Days

Hi everyone,

I am writing this blog after an absolutely manic nine days. During this time I have had a boxing fight and played three full matches for Arsenal Ladies. My body has been pushed to its limits, but hand on heart, if I could relive the last nine days, I’d do it all over again with a click of my fingers.

First up let’s talk about my fight! My first ever boxing fight…which sadly ended half way through the second round. Why? I still don’t know the answer to this! The ref thought he knew best and called it. To be fair, it was more like a street fight on a night out, so this may have been the reason!

However, the fight and the night in general was an experience I will never be able to forget. I am now building a great friendship with the girl I faced and I managed to raise £1,300 for Millwall Girls CoE. I had over 50 people there supporting me and they were absolutely blinding. Fantastic. Most of them didn’t like seeing me in the ring getting punched, but I know I made them proud and that’s the main thing! I have been asked to fight on the next show in December, however I’ve not made a decision on this yet – so we will see what happens there 😉

After the boxing fight it was straight home to bed and up early for a trip to Liverpool for our game against the Reds! My body was literally screaming when I woke up, the aches and pains I felt I can’t even begin to try and explain. I was in agony but I knew the show had to go on. The journey up to Liverpool was a long one to say the least!

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The M1 was closed so after a 5 1/2 hour trek we finally reached the stadium. We knew in our heads what we had to do and we did just that. We played great football and banged in three goals, plus we kept a clean sheet – happy days! I couldn’t wait for the final whistle to go as I genuinely felt my body was crying for me to stop exercising. The trip home was just as eventful as the trip up there. Our coach got a flat tyre, so after getting it changed my time of arrival at home was 4am. Ouch!

If I’m being honest it took me a couple of days to recover from the fight. However, that was just in time for our Continental Cup semi-final against Everton. What another fantastic result – a 4-0 win and another clean sheet.

Our performances are growing with each game we play and I was really excited for our Sunday league game again against Everton. The nine days were topped off with a 5-0 win and ANOTHER clean sheet! Things are looking up right now so we need to make sure we continue with what we are doing.

I just want to say a massive thank you to every single person who has supported me throughout my whole boxing ordeal. At times I have been a pain to be around, and even though I struggle to admit it, I am proud of what I did. There is one word to sum you lot up.. LEDGE!

Till next time… 😉

Fighting Talk

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 😉

Gilly 1

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!

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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.

G