Trying to focus on writing this column, whilst watching the battle between Newcastle and Stoke play out on the television in front of me, is certainly a challenge. I am so relived that Crouch snatched a point to draw in the dying minutes of the game with his trademark header. Newcastle is always a long way to go and not get a point- so all in all a good result.
On the note of good results, Asmir was thrilled to watch the New England Patriots win the Superbowl. He stayed up through the night till the very end on the edge of his seat to witness one of the greatest games NFL fans will have ever seen. Both teams were incredible but Asmir’s team were the victors with Tom Brady being declared the MVP (most valuable player) which is such an honour.
Strictly Come Dressage…
The time has arrived in training where we have turned out attention to designing and creating a freestyle for this competition year. This process is so involved and somewhat complicated which one would never necessarily expect or know about when you see the final polished performance in the competition arena. The critical point in this process is designing the floor plan that has technical difficulty but is ride-able to ensure maximum marks can be gained from the judges. Choosing music to compliment the horse and rider combination is the final step and is crucial as the right or wrong music can affect the perception of what the judge sees and interprets- too heavy and loud and it can make a horse look flat and heavy, too soft and light and can detract from the presence of a very powerful moving horse. This process is no doubt similar for figure skaters and gymnasts. We work tirelessly on perfecting our freestyles, as it is an opportunity to showcase and play on our horse’s strengths and gain some our highest percentages.
The long winter months can stifle the enthusiasm of even the most positive and dedicated of people and athletes, but I have found the key to this is in fitness work. Although I can ride three or more horses a day, this isn’t enough to rely on for fitness. It is important I push myself out of my comfort zone. So I can’t recommend enough getting on those trainers and getting active. Summer can’t be far now…so I hope!
Tonight, Asmir will be re-united on the pitch with Bosnian teammate and friend, Edin Dzeko. Usually, Asmir would be watching Edin at the other end of the pitch netting the goals for Bosnia, but against Man City, Asmir will be coming face to face with Edin’s attempts on goal. It doesn’t matter whether you’re best friends or even family, when you play against them on the pitch, you always play to win. Asmir and Edin will meet again in March for the next International break where Bosnia will play away to both Andorra and Austria as they continue their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Here’s to a great result tonight. Now the transfer window has closed for the last time this season, we can now focus on Stoke hopefully achieving their highest finish in the table yet. I am feeling very positive and optimistic about that with such a strong and talented team going forward.