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Canadian forward Lamanna pleased with Birkirkara opportunity after debut hat-trick

Birkirkara’s newest arrival Patricia Lamanna could have not wished for a better start to her new chapter in Maltese football after netting a hat-trick on her debut with the Stripes, last week.

Her three goals – two of them inside the first 10 minutes of the game against Kirkop United – propelled Birkirkara to a 6-1 victory that kept them sharing the top spot of the MFA Women’s League with Mġarr United.

“It did not only come as a shock to myself, but to my team as well,” Lamanna admitted to the Times of Malta.

“I manifested my performance prior to the game, and it came true. My team provided me with the necessary tools to be able to achieve 3 goals in the game.

I’m extremely proud of myself as I used my team to my advantage, they created so many amazing opportunities that I would not want to make any mistakes. Regardless, without them I would not be able to do what I did.”

After parting ways with Portuguese forward Flavia Fartaria following this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign, Birkirkara were searching to fill their number 9 spot.

Lamanna comes with an interesting resume and she is at the back of an experience in Spain at Intercity Femenino. Her previous spells where at Woodbridge, Unionville, at Walsh University women’s soccer programme and at the Wilfrid Laurier University.

The Canadian player was named Most Valuable Player and Athlete of the Year thanks to her 30 goals and 11 assists when she was at Senator O’Connor School, back in 2015.

“I have always tried to consider myself a player that strives to be humble and easy going. But let’s face it – I am flamboyant, aggressive, tactical, logical and quick,” the Canadian player pointed out.

“I love to assist and score goals. God designed me specifically to be able to play this game. I am a respectful fighter who sticks out as an individual yet blends well in a team setting.”

Playing in Malta is another step forward in Lamanna’s career and she is grateful for the opportunity she has been given.

“An agent presented the very abrupt opportunity to me when I was playing in Spain, and I just knew in my heart I could not pass up the chance to experience it,” Lamanna said.

“Many disagreed with my choice, but it was not a choice for them to make.”

Lamanna heaped praise on the Birkirkara environment which made her feel welcome from day one.

“The environment is extremely welcoming,” she explained.

“I feel very at home, and I love all my team mates as they have really accepted me into their athletic family. I’ll spend the rest of my days earning their respect, my position on the pitch, and the role to be able to fight with them.

In addition, I am enjoying the Maltese weather and ambience. I have a car and I learned how to drive which is extremely fun as everything is backwards for me here. I cannot wait to make more friends and explore this island with them, and I am looking forward to manifest our victories and become a family with Birkirkara.”

Lamanna, who is currently pursuing studies in Criminology and Policing due to her interest in crime scene investigations, is also willing to test herself in familiar experiences while staying on our shores.

“I have a fascination in washing cars as I had my own business prior to travelling the world,” Lamanna said.

“I would love to work as a swim instructor while I am here as I spent half of my life in the water as a teacher to many different ages. If not, I would even love to get involved in a children football programme where I can be a huge help and maybe influence growing athletes.”

Canada dream

The Canadian forward’s biggest game of her career was, however, not played on the field but outside of it when she injured her ACL. An experience that injected more motivation into her to chase her dreams.

“Losing both my independence and ability to play is what helped me wipe my tears and regain the strength I needed to continue,” Lamanna underlined.

“I was so successful with my rehabilitation. I was able to ditch my crutches in the first month. It was a long and gruesome process that had me drowning in my doubts and others’ opinions of my current situation.

Regardless, I have always found myself to be different in many ways, that is why now one has ever been able to affect my mentality. Just because I doubted myself did not mean I was going to give up and it took every muscle in my body to be able to be here today.”

Ambitious Lamanna has also eyes on the Canadian shirt which she aims to wear one day, although she admits that she had to leave her native country in order to get noticed.

“I’ll work as hard as possible to be able to one day represent the country I was proud to be born in,” Lamanna explained.

“I am a proud Canadian with a strong Italian background who is striving for nothing but the best.”

Canada, who won the women’s football tournament in the recent Olympic Games, has witnessed an important growth in its women’s game even though according to Lamanna, there is not a huge demand for the sport yet.

“A lot of overshadowed clubs and organisations when describing the women’s game in Canada,” she lamented.

“Despite the well-deserved Olympic triumph, I still feel as though women footballers are underpaid and underappreciated while considered less important.

I, for one, have always dreamed of playing for Canada and I found it incredibly hard to be noticed so I had to leave the country especially with having a dream to play in Italy one day.”

THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES

TUESDAY – 20.30

Swieqi United vs San Ġwann, Centenary Stadium
Mġarr United vs Mtarfa, Mġarr Ground

WEDNESDAY – 20.30

Raiders vs Birkirkara, Centenary Stadium

MD10 bye: Kirkop United.

Photo c/o Birkirkara FC

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