Column: Headaches for the bus driver

Pictured: Shawn Billam likes to sing when she’s winning. Photo: Getty Images

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It’s been a fantastic start to the Westfield W-League season for us girls and the 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets was particularly pleasing.

By Shawn Billam, Perth Glory Women midfielder

We travel more than any other W-League team and it’s never easy to get points on the road.

Unfortunately for the bus driver on our return trip from Newcastle to Sydney, this win meant spirits were high and so were our singing voices, which are perhaps not our greatest talents.

But it’s always good to sing when you’re winning.

Newcastle is the longest away trip for us Glory girls with a five-hour flight followed by a three-hour bus journey up the coast from Sydney.

The day starts with the agonising job of making it to the airport by 4.30am. I don’t mind an early start but it’s almost like waking up in the middle of the night to catch the plane.

Once we’re all on board, a few of the players make up for their broken night’s sleep by nodding off and others watch a movie or listen to music to pass the time. Even though the bus journey is not as long, it does seem worse after the long flight.

After arriving in Newcastle, we always take part in a training session to get the legs going after the long journey. It might only be a light session but this is a crucial part of our preparation for any away game.

We didn’t exactly start brilliantly against Newcastle, who, like us, have recruited well over the off-season and it was a bit scrappy early. But we took the lead when Marianna Tabain took an excellent free-kick and found the back of the net.

As the half wore on, so did the pressure from both sides. But just before half time we took the game by the scruff of the neck when Alanna Kennedy headed home from a corner just before the break.

Our aim in the second half was to keep a clean sheet and although we defended well at times Newcastle didn’t give up and eventually were rewarded with a Tara Andrews goal.

Neither side would’ve been entirely happy with the performance but it’s always nicer when you’ve got another three points in the bag – even if the bus driver doesn’t agree.

*Perth Glory Women take on Adelaide United at Ashfield Sports Club at 3pm on Saturday, September 27.