Some Words From Up North, Eh!

Since arriving home from China, getting back on my proper sleep pattern has been a challenge to say the least. From late afternoon naps, to 3 a.m. Skype sessions with teammates, to 5 a.m. mornings wide awake, I have now managed to get myself back on a decent sleep schedule. It took a while, but by forcing myself out of the house during the day it has come around … almost all the way. Just in time for me to fly off to Sweden and go through it all over again!

My time home in Stony Plain, AB, Canada has been a real treat. Just before I went to camp, my best friend/neighbor’s dog had eight puppies, and in the last few days of camp in China, my brother called me to tell me I was going to be an aunt! Since being home, I have been playing with puppies and preparing for a baby … and by that I mean setting my brother and his wife up with Skype so that I can be a part of my nieces/nephew’s life while I am away.

I usually have time to come home during the year, but this year is going to be so busy between my season in Sweden with Piteå IF, and with the Canadian team and the World Cup, I wont be planning to come home until November at the earliest. This has of course made my time home extra important for me, as I cherish my family so much. It’s not only fun and games being home, for any of us on the Canadian Team, and this little break from camp has been very eventful on the soccer side of things.

I am going to try to keep this as objective as possible, but of course I, along with the rest of the Canadian team have a lot of emotion towards this issue. On Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, our head coach, Carolina Morace announced her intention to step down as head coach following this summer’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany. You don’t have to be a genius to see that Carolina has been the best thing that has happened to this program, and the growth and success we have seen in the past two years is night and day compared to any other Canadian Team. How the team feels? We support her decision 100 percent. Enough said.

Following this decision, there was the Canadian Soccer Association’s Special General Meeting in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. The point of the meeting was for the membership of the CSA to vote on governance renewal. Recently retired from our Canadian National Team, Kara Lang was present along with Jason de Vos, former captain for the Canadian Men’s National Team. Kara had a speech prepared on behalf of our team, but was not allowed to read it (as only motions on the agenda were open for discussion, see more on The result of the meeting? Instead of instant change, it was voted that starting in 2012, provincial presidents will be removed from the CSA’s board of directors until, by 2015, the board will be entirely professional. There is a lot of frustrating things about this, other than the obvious long, drawn out process.

This has been a long process, so to see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel is great, but the fight isn’t over, as promises now need to be followed through. And we are still faced with the bigger issue, our coach and her pending retirement. We are hoping for something to happen immediately, because almost anyone in not only Canada but the world can see that this program needs Carolina to achieve our potential. This is a large obstacle in our climb up the mountain, and we all hope the CSA will jump on board with us, and support our coach 100 percent like we do, so that this summer, Team Canada can not just show up in Germany to participate, but show up to compete and win.

Stephanie Labbe is a keeper for the Canadian Women’s National Team and Piteå IF of Damallsvenskan. (Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Labbe and may not be replicated, reproduced, distributed or downloaded.)