Tara Andrews: No-football blues

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A free weekend just over halfway through the season is a luxury that our whole team got to enjoy over the weekend.

The few days off were not for a bye, but the way the games were arranged to allow Melbourne Victory to go to Japan and compete at the Club Championships.

I asked some of the girls how their weekend was and they all came back with a common answer: they all loved being able to do anything they wanted or nothing. Not having to go to bed so we wouldn’t be tired or eat at the right times for game day. It was so good to be a little free for a few days. You know, catch up on the life we have outside of football, which sometimes can be hard to keep up with or remember.

Although, a weekend without football doesn’t really mean a weekend without football. I saw the Wanderers beat Al-Hilal to claim the title in the AFC Champions league; I watched the W-League TV game and saw the highlights of the A-League games. Once you are in the world of football, it is hard to escape

It brings me to the thought of what would we be doing with our lives if we didn’t play football, a daunting thought for some I’m sure. Some might excel in other sports and a great example of a well-rounded talented athlete is Elyse Perry, a dual international in cricket and football.

Now I wouldn’t say cricket and football are very similar sports – they are quite different actually – but it shows the athletic ability of Elyse Perry to adapt her skills to be successful in two sports.

Another example is all the guys switching between football codes of rugby league, rugby union, AFL and even American football with Jarryd Hayne. Scouting these days in mainly consisted of identifying attributes the athletes possess: agility, pace and strength can be shaped for many different sports.

Back to a life without football; what if we didn’t choose the path of becoming professional sportspeople? Well one question is what we would do with all those nights and weekends taken up by training and games.

Our lives would be so different but I think one thing would be the same and that is the drive to succeed and be the best in whatever career we choose. There are a lot of very intelligent athletes around and if it wasn’t sport they excelled at, they would be determined to have a successful career and I’d say this would be because of their personality. The type of personality that helps a person gain that focus and develop skills that will allow them to complete tasks.

So I don’t think sport would stop athletes being successful in life, it would just be something else they are very good at.

This weekend we are flying to the west to take on competition leaders Perth Glory for an exciting match. This will be a tester for our team and I am looking forward to the chance to really give it to Perth and test them.

Tara Andrews is a long-time striker and current vice-captain for the Newcastle Jets, despite only being 20 years old, who recently spent time with the Colorado Pride and has represented Australia internationally with the Young Matildas. She previously held the record for the most goals scored in a W-League match with four against Adelaide United. Keep up with Tara’s weekly blogs throughout the 2014/15 Westfield W-League season here.

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