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Simona Petkova – football player with brave heart

| updated on 5/22/20 11:55 AM

In Gabrovo - the Bulgarian city of humor, not all stories start very joyfully. Just like the one of Simona, who grew up in a family of a mother and six siblings but kept dreaming of playing football at a crowded stadium. Today, she is a player of San Marino and continues to climb the ladder of her football career step by step, the way she has been doing it since the first day of her story of courage, love and dedication.

Simona Petkova played her first game of football at the age of 16 at a girls tournament in her hometown. There she was spotted and later came to Sofia to join the team of the National Sports Academy. She had to go to school, practice, and work a full-time job at the same time. One day she even fainted at work from exhaustion. The girl managed to develop her talent through individual training sessions and also managed to complete her higher education at the Sports Academy. Then she started looking for opportunities.

She first played for the Leeds Ladies in the English 4th division, but half a year later joined the much better-known Watford. After a successful season as a team goal scorer, she signed a professional contract in Italy, passing through the teams of Barry, Empoli and San Marino. "People respect me and say I am an example to the other girls - something that has never happened to me before and this is a big step," Simona says about her current team.

"All the difficulties either crush you or make you stronger. On the pitch there are a lot of difficulties – you could be injured or may have problems in the team,” she adds. "I am most critical to myself and I blame myself for every wrong pass and every match that didn't go well."

Simona is a strong footballer but has a gentle side. "Rhyme is one of my favorite things - I like to express my opinion through writing," she says about her two collections of poems, but quickly adds that "football is my true love; I'm crazy about it and I keep working with the ball in my feet." Ronaldo has been an inspiration for Simona:

"He is an example of how a person who did not have the financial means could work and change things. Everything depends on will and desire. One can accomplish anything as long as they are fully dedicated to their goal.”

After the end of her sports career Simona wants to create her own training methodological system for implementation in Bulgaria in order to make native football rise again.

"It's not just about money as we are actually lacking people with a passion who want to achieve results,” she says. “We could change many things like the way practice take place, the atmosphere of work and many other things, but we are always looking for excuses and constantly hear that we have no money, no conditions, etc. The question is what we could do with the conditions we have. In general, our football lacks any focus and goal. On the other hand we are waiting for fast results but in football, just like in life, one should work for a long time to expect actual results as they do not come as a gift."

Simona’s nearest goal is her team qualifying for the Italian Serie A. She also wants to enjoy the game as long as she could.

"When I step on the green pitch, I feel energy and desire and I forget about the outside world. All I do is concentrate on my workout or the match itself," she adds in conclusion.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: private library

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