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Women

Eden’s competitive spirit not lost in lockdown

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Rosie Eden has been a member of the AFC Bournemouth Women’s team since 2014, yet this season has been one like no other.

Tier systems and national lockdowns have prevented her side from a lengthy run of games, with just six fixtures played across the 2020/21 campaign so far.

However, together with partner and team-mate Emma Davis (known as Bambi), she hasn’t struggled to stay occupied under the current restrictions, with fitness challenges and garden games taking up most of her time!

Speaking to afcb.co.uk ahead of International Women's Day, she elaborated more: “Surprisingly, I’m the one that’s motivated Bambi to go for runs!

“The annoying thing is that she always beats me by about 30 seconds every time, so I refuse to run with her now. We start together and end together, but we run in different directions because I can’t deal with running with her!

“It definitely motivates us more, but I get so annoyed with her because I feel like she’s not even trying compared to me yet she’s smashing my times.

“It is good to just to get out and we’re quite lucky in that sense. We can just play football in the garden or go for runs together. I think that’s kept us sane!

“The other day, AJ [Aimee Burridge] got us a football rebounder because it was my birthday, so we’ve literally been playing out in the garden like kids all evening until it gets dark – I’m sure our neighbours aren’t too thrilled about it but that’s definitely kept us ticking over.”

With the squad having played just one competitive fixture since the end of December, the Government’s announcement that grassroots football could potentially return by the end of March was an extremely welcome one. 

Eden went on to explain the boost it had given the side and how they simply can’t wait to get going again having kept their fitness up throughout lockdown.

“I think we’ve kept ourselves to ourselves and not really been keeping up with the updates, but to hear that date for a return of grassroots football has actually given us an end in sight.

“It’s motivated us more to keep doing the runs and keep playing football because we know there’ll hopefully be a reward at the end of it.

“Ultimately, we want the league to go ahead because we do want the club to be going forward and we want that promotion.

“But, at this stage, it’s all about perspective and we need to make sure, as a country, we’re all safe. That’s when we can hope that football, which is such a big part of our lives, can go ahead.”

It remains to be seen whether the Southern Region Women’s Premier League will resume, with all clubs to vote on its conclusion in the coming weeks, but Eden and the squad have their sights set firmly on promotion should they be given the opportunity.

“Last season was voided and it’s almost like we’ve had it all again,” she continued.

“Fortunately, we’ve only had one league game so it’s not as bad as last season, but we need to be getting promoted and we need to be pushing ourselves up the football pyramid.

“Going up is the main goal for everyone – for Steve, for the club, the players and, as a collective, it’s what we’re working towards.  

“A lot of the team have been doing the charity exercise and I think everyone is so focused on staying fit because they want to be promoted so badly. 

“We’ve been working towards this for what seems like forever and hopefully there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

“For a lot of people, having football back will bring that routine that we need in our lives. Bambi and I were joking as I put the bins out this morning, that’s pretty much all I leave the house for now!”

With an end hopefully in sight, the winger concluded by explaining what it would mean for her side to all be reunited again, with many of the group having not seen each other this calendar year!

“Everything is now done online so it’s been really important to keep reaching out and to touch base with the girls.

“We’re regularly sending photos of ourselves having done a run and it’s keeping each other motivated. It’s so important and everyone has done well to keep in touch.

“A lot of people are desperate to get back and see each other because I think this lockdown has taken its toll a little bit.”  

AFC Bournemouth Women are proudly supported by two local companies.

Thank you to Bournemouth University for being the front of shirt sponsor and thank you to Vitality for supporting our Women's and Girls’ setup.

Thank you for your support

Bournemouth University for being our main girls and women's team sponsor, and iPRO and Vitality for supporting the womens' programme.

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