Hey Junior Gunners! I hope you are all well and enjoyed the end to the season. Wasn't it nerve-wracking! I was really busy throughout the last six weeks of the campaign and really enjoyed us clinching fourth on the last day.
On Thursday, April 11, I went to Highbury Grove school to check out a disability sports festival that was run by one of our community coaches. Sports such as sitting volleyball, tennis, cricket and dance all took place and I was on hand to give out gifts and certificates to all who took part.
Two days later, I was off to the Emirates for our game against Norwich City. I met both mascots before the game and we watched the players arrive before I went pitch-side to meet the fans. We did really well to get back into the game after going a goal down and Mikel, Olivier and Lukas all scored late on to give us a big three points. At the final whistle, I went to see a group of children from Great Ormond Street hospital.
Arsenal Ladies were in Champions League action on Sunday, April 14. They took on German team VfL Wolfsburg in the semi-final first leg at Boreham Wood and over 1,400 fans attended so I was kept really busy before kick-off! The team played really well but ended up losing 2-0.
I met Sir Alex Ferguson when we played Everton. The game was very tight and ended up goalless. I met some of the Everton fans before the match and had my picture taken with some of them.
We hosted Manchester United at the end of April. They had just won the league and I met former player Robin van Persie when the teams arrived. We started really well and Theo gave us the lead after just two minutes. The newly-crowned champions equalised just before half-time and the game finished 1-1. I ran into Robert Pires and one of my favourite ever Arsenal players, Jens Lehmann, after the game!
I was back at the Emirates on Friday, May 3, when I met all the players competing in our partners' tournament. Then, the next day I watched our game away at Queens Park Rangers. I thoguht Theo's goal against Manchester United was quick, but against QPR he was on target after just 20 seconds. We held on for an important three points that maintained our push for a top-four place.
The Ladies were in action again on Tuesday, May 7. They took on Liverpool at the Emirates and with a crowd of just under 3,000 in attendance, there was a lot for me to do before kick-off! We ended up losing the game 4-0 but were unlucky, hitting the woodwork three times and having numerous shots cleared off the line. Before the game, I popped in to The Robert Blair Primary School in Islington to hand out certificates for an Arsenal in the Community event. It was so much fun to walk into assembly and see all the children go wild!
A week later, the first team were back at the stadium for the visit of Wigan Athletic. We got off to a great start wih Lukas scoring early on but wigan equalised just before the break. We rallied in the second half though and goals from Theo, Lukas and then Aaron. I got up to my usual matchday routine but I must admit I was pretty nervous tonight!
We did it! On Sunday, May 19, we secured fourth place with victory away at Newcastle United. Laurent scored the only goal just after half-time to ensure that we will be playing Champions League football next season. We screened the game live at the Emirates and I tried to keep the fans' nerves at bay before kick-off by going round having a bit of fun and posing for pictures.
I'm so pleased that we ended the season well. I'll be kept busy during pre-season and I'm already looking forward to opening fetes and attending fun days. I've even got a wedding to attend to!
Thanks a lot for all your great support this season from the players and me, and I can't wait to see you all next season.
Copyright 2024 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.