Tag Archives: sport

Women On The Ball

This brand new venture, from hugely popular podcast and Youtube channel, The Blue Room, shines a much needed light on Everton Women and life as a female pro footballer. 

It’s just shy of a year since I made my debut on The Blue Room. The Everton FC dedicated podcast and Youtube channel has been discussing all things Toffee for almost a decade now. The brand was created by Sports New Journalist Dave Downie and Football Writer and Broadcaster, Matt Jones (obvs both massive Everton fans), The Blue Room produces an incredible amount of quality, engaging content across the website, Patreon podcast, Youtube and social media – on a daily basis.

the blue room podcast

Podcast episodes cover all manner of current EFC news, players, signings, managers (CARLO FANTASTICO), fixtures, results, former players, historic games, cultural connections, you name it, if it’s even remotely related to the club, we’ll gab about it. The contributers are global blues. From Australia to the US and the Wirral.

Aside from reliable, daily content, The Blue Room also offers the likes of Mailbag – this weekly show gives fans the opportunity to ask questions for the panel to discuss. It also starts a totally unique conversation on social media among fans too, sometimes with absolutely nothing to do with Everton whatsoever. We’re never going to agree on what constitutes the perfect Christmas dinner! Onions in vinegar? Seriously Jack?

As a first generation blue, I was nervous to join ‘the lads’ in discussing the game. These lads are devout. Between them, they go to every game, home and away. They can recall results, handballs, unbelievable reffing decisions, away fan clashes, international escapades, last minute screamers and last minute screaming. It’s pretty incredible.

the blue room

I began my Everton fan career age 18 when I met my husband and started going to the game with him. Sat behind the goal in the Lower Gwladys Street, my first game was against Sunderland. I almost missed the winner because I was so preoccupied with the fella sat three rows behind me who spent 80 odd minutes simply shouting ‘You’re shite’.

My lack of confidence aside, the lads invited me over to the Radio City tower to record and a new passion was born. We had a good laugh and still do. They’ve taught me so much and I’ve taken a real stand on topics I’m passionate about, such as Sam Allardyce and the brilliance of Dominic Calvert Lewin. I think I take a lot more stick than I give, but that’s subject to opinion.

The Blue Room has had a desire to cover more of the womens game for a while. I was truly blown away when Matt and Dave offered me the opportunity to host a new strand of the podcast focussing entirely on Everton Women.

women on the ball

Women On The Ball was launched in November 2019 with WOTB Episode 1 and featured an hour long chat with Everton Women captain Lucy Graham, Simone Magill and Maeva Clemaron.

The podcast gave us the chance to get to know the players, how they got started in football, what the team dynamic is like behind closed doors, who the jokers are (Simone for one!) and the challenges that lay ahead as these girls pave the way for a new generation of girls who can now visualse a career in professional football.

We had a good laugh and WOTB Episode 2 followed in December with equally good viewing/listening figures. Stories such as the one from Everton Women defender, Kika Van Es genuinely shocked us. With no provision for school age girls to pursue football, in her native Holland, Kika took extreme measures to follow her passion. Watch here to find out more. 

Everton Women are flying this season. Currently sitting 5th in the Barclays FA Womens Super League and with a FA Cup fourth round draw game against London Bees tomorrow (Sunday 26th January 2020), the girls are back from the Christmas break and ready to battle. There’s also the small matter of a historic Merseyside derby taking place at Goodison Park on 9th Feburary, but that fixture is deserving of a blog post all of its own.

Just 14 months after taking the reins, Everton Women Manager Willie Kirk has steered a successful January transfer window to futher strengthen a team that has shown ambition. In a recent interview for Women On The Ball, he said: “It’s been a great January. I think we’ve maxed out, we did exactly what we wanted to do in terms of ins and out. I don’t think it could’ve gone any better to be honest.”

With three players incoming, including a return to USM Finch Farm (Everton’s training facility) for Goal Keeper Sandy McIver and Midfielder Izzy Christiansen, plus a transfer backed by former blue, Tim Cahill, in Hayley Raso from Portland Thorns via the Gold Coast, the second half of the season is looking bright and blue for Everton Women.

There’s loads more to come in the weeks ahead. To find out more about The Blue Room and to catch up on WOTB episodes so far, head to the official Youtube channel here, and get subscribing to the podcast, here.

 

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Black Friday

Bloody hell, everything seems so difficult just now. Heads up, this is a rant + breathe = gratitude type post. Just to bring you up to speed. 

So, the country has gone to shit. If you disagree with anyone on social media, you’re not only wrong, you’re also a kn*bhead as well. Everton can’t decide on a manager nor find their balls to sack the current one and to make matters worse – there’s more brawling going on at the school gates than ever before – and once again, it’s the parents not the kids that are fighting.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year. Disgusted I’ve not blogged since Spring but with comic work, ALL the what’s on at The Guide Liverpool, new podcast series with The Blue Room and three kids growing at a speed of knots, I’ve had about four days off. I spent my laptop free time in Paris – on the anniversary of the Yellow Vest Protests. You should have SEEN the tear gas and police parades. Spellbinding.

About the brawling. The school my kids go to if falling apart. I know parents who moved house to get their kids into the catchment area just a few years ago. The latest Ofsted was a shambles and nothing seems to have improved since. In fact its gotten noticeably worse. Police involvement in adults fighting and persistently using bad language in the school yard and resulted in some deep discussions about our future in the suburbs.

Letters have been written. Applications to new schools complete. Now we wait. And wait. And wait. Does anyone home school these days? Drop me a line, genuinely interesting in how that all works.

Comic book work should see a shift in the new year thanks to a brand new story and a little confidence boost from my friends in Texas. Ever wondered what would happen if the River Mersey ever burst its banks and engulfed the city? Bringing with it some big ass monsters?

This summer I interviewed Sister Sledge, I rocked out at Kings of Leon and interviewed so many inspiring people including former England Netball captain Ama Agbeze. I also assumed the role of Auctioneer for the very first time for the amazing, Clare House Hospice. Alongside celeb chef and Sunday Brunch presenter, Simon Rimmer, I was able to help raise more than £130,000 for children and families who need it most. An incredible 2019 highlight.

Doodling aside! I trained as a sports journalist as the sensational use of language that bridges punditry and media, has always fascinated me. Earlier this year I joined the guys at The Blue Room EFC podcast and gave my two cents worth on the Everton focused chat. It’s a brilliant laugh and I’ve been welcomed with open arms. So much so that we’ve launched a brand new strand of the podcast and now, Youtube channel.

Women on The Ball is a monthly podcast with Everton Womens captain, Lucy Graham and players Simone Magill and Maeva Clemaron and me as your host. Want to know what it’s like to be a female pro footballer? Tune in!

This week I joined the gaffer at The Guide Liverpool, the one and only Jay Hynd on a secret press trip down to London. We crossed the most famous zebra crossing in the world and visited the iconic, Abbey Road Studios! Stuff of dreams.

As Christmas rapidly approaches, you’ll find me writing gift guides, helping others to promote their independent businesses in Liverpool and donning my blue santa suit to rock up a BTR Santa Dash 5th medal! If I make it around the 5k course!

How’s your 2019 been?

 

 

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Fear of Flying

Alright so straight off, I’m not scared of flying, I love nothing more than starting my holiday at The Kissing Gate at LJLA with a glass of prosecco before being crammed into a tiny seat with no space for my long legs…..

I am however utterly terrified of taking the first step off the top of the Radio City Tower (St John’s Beacon), backwards on Friday 4th May 2018. Which as far as I’m concerned, is about as close to experiencing flight as you can get.

 

Jay and the team at The Guide Liverpool totally duped me into volunteering for this charity challenge, and don’t get me wrong, Cash for Kids deserves all the help and fundraising it can get to help disadvantaged kids and their families in our local area. I’m just absolutely bricking it.

Friday 4th May 2018 is Superhero Day for Cash for Kids and the Skyfall abseil is just one of many fundraising activities happening on the day. The icing on the cake for me is that I’m (hopefully) completing my free fall abseil at silly o’clock in the morning with my fabulous friend and fellow Guide Liverpool presenter, Claire Simmo. She’ll be laughing her head off, no doubt dressed as Robin/Harley Quinn, or bloody Tinkerbell, while I’ll be more concerned about not losing a Nike trainer or indeed my stomach when I approach that roof edge.

Kate and Simmo

It’s a 452ft drop, and I’d really love to hand Cash for Kids £452 for the opportunity of a lifetime to see the city like never before……and likely never again!

If you can spare £2, seriously, £2 is more than enough to reach my total before next week, please head to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/superkatejames and do something amazing for those in need.

Thanks so much x

 

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Foul Ball

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks but its official, I’m a trainee journalist. I’ve spent my days immersed in short hand, public affairs, media law and news reporting. I’ve learned abbreviations such as IPSO and PCC and I can recite all 16 clauses of the Editors Code of Practise. Among the intense learning I also ran my first ever half marathon, The Great North Run and somehow managed to get three kids into childcare by 8am every day for a fortnight….and I’ve loved every minute of it.

I wish I could go back in time and visit 17 year old me and say ‘Stop being a gobby show off, embrace your love of English language and literature and focus on carving out a career for yourself….oh and lay off those Bacardi Breezers’  Would I have listened? I doubt it very much, I knew everything back then. 17 year old me

Fast forward 16 years and I’m slowly starting to feel like I’ve got my life together. I have a natural flair for chatting to people and engaging with businesses, so my next challenge is…..local sport! Tomorrow I’m spending the afternoon at Sefton RUFC to learn everything there is to know about rugby union (or proper rugby as my Dad calls it). I’m currently sat listening to the first match of the Rugby World Cup, England Vs Fiji in an attempt to naturally soak up some of the terminology and international players names! It’s not really working. I’m also making an appearance at not one, but two Liverpool golf clubs this weekend, again an attempt at on-the-job learning! I’m taking bets on how many injuries I’m going to sustain by Sunday dinner time?!i heart footy

The reason I’ve taken on sport it because it’s totally out of my comfort zone. I’m happy to sit and watch premiership games at the weekend, but (dare i say it,) I’m neither red nor blue. I really enjoy F1, Athletics and international Cricket. But Rugby, Golf and Snooker…….zzzzzzzzz. So I’ve gone way out of my comfort zone and I kind of figured that if I can accurately write up a 90/80 minute match while its unfolding right in front of me, I should have no problems with an equally fast-paced Fashion Week catwalk show…right?

I’ve resorted to watching some Youtube video’s on match commentary to help calm my nerves….that didn’t really work out either as most of them are hilarious. I must be more professional….. I wonder if I could get away with just shouting ‘a$$hole’ after each goal like this guy?https://youtu.be/wvnydzZXBEI

I’ll let you know how I get on!

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