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Wednesday 29th May 2024

Scottish League Cup Group Stage Draw - 1pm

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Seebass Saved By The Southern New Hampshire University Women's Soccer.


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I just wanted to share a very special ride I've been on since fighting some horrible depression in February 2018.  Please watch the 23 minute YouTube video I've shared too and let us know what one does think.


Back on Friday 16th February 2018 we settled down around 10pm as was going to watch Aberdeen play Hibernian at Easter Road following day.  Lying in bed I had this very scary suicidal ideation episode.  What I was experiencing can only be described as an awfully hot, penetrating, throbbing sensation on right side of my head (brain damaged side) with a voice trying to convince me to kill myself.


  As one can imagine and appreciate with that amount of brain damage my overall mood from a psychological, mental, emotional aspect can be extremely up and down.  It usually depends on how stressful life is treating me as to response we have regarding these important feelings.


Tried reaching out to some friends but they were useless.  I then phoned 111 and was put in touch with Distress Brief Intervention Team a fairly new NHS Initiative recently rolled out at time to just four regions in Scotland who spoke with me every day on phone for 17 days and came to take one for a coffee at our local bistro maybe four or five times.


A few weeks later after receiving little to no support from family and friends we were diagnosed with some depression by my neurologist Dr Myles Connor.  Literally spent eight to ten weeks in bed.  Not a phone call, text message, email, Facebook post, visit to my flat, nothing from anybody.


One morning in September/October 2018 about 2am while struggling to sleep we switched my smart TV on and put YouTube up.  There was a recommendation for the Southern New Hampshire University Women's Soccer Team.  Clicked on it and watched last hour of a match which we enjoyed so much I looked for details of their next game which was a couple of days later and tuned in again once more really enjoying myself so reached out to them on their Facebook page and started to follow them more closely as a result.  


Their Head Coach a guy called Elie Monteiro ended up sending me a signed shirt from all of the 2018 squad.  I sent him my prized 2007-08 Aberdeen European scarf as a thank you.  Towards end of 2019 season I couldn't watch them as professional body of the soccer system over there requested all Universities coverage be linked together on a single website accredited to the association.  Think it was a case of living in UK I wasn't allowed to watch something in US.  For obvious reasons their 2020 season was cancelled so went 22 months without them before 2021 campaign was given go ahead for beginning of September.  However I did get a 'Happy New Year' video message from four of the team in December 2020 which absolutely ruined me in a good way of course.  Can click on the SNHU icon below YouTube link of my Goodbye Message that also is above it and watch 25 second clip.


2021 season ended in early November after they created history by winning the program's FIRST EVER Women's Soccer North East Ten Regular Season Championship with some 11-2 conference record although their complete record read as thirteen wins, two losses and one draw because they play three games against teams outside conference.  Sadly as No.1 seed they lost the Play-Off Quarter-Final tie (top eight sides after conference play finished 1st playing 8th, 2nd versus 7th, 3rd against 6th while 4th plays 5th kind of thing) at home to Southern Connecticut State University 2-1 after taking lead in second minute and losing goals after 68th and 75th minute.  Was a strange way to see them lose actually.  


From start of schedule they'd been on some thirteen game unbeaten streak (a run which equalled 1989 side) until St.Rose their nearest rivals beat them away 1-0 with thirteen seconds to go in overtime.  For some strange reason if a game is tied after 90 minutes they play two ten minute periods and first team to score wins or it stays a draw after twenty minutes with no further goal.


In September 2021 Elie messaged me to ask if we wanted to have a 2.30pm their time 7.30pm my time Zoom chat with the girls before training.  I agreed not expecting the whole 28 ladies in squad to be present in the changing room!  Wasn't a set agenda but thought we'd maybe speak with say three or four of the girls for five minutes.  Got a full half an hour with them.  Was asked by Elie to tell the girls how I came across them and all about my disability.  A very humbling experience to say the least.  Not many people have made an effort to hear it.  They then asked me a couple of questions.  


The two goalkeepers 'Z' and Hannah gave me such a great memory by jumping out of their seats to high five each other as told them coming from Manchester we supported Manchester City as they too follow Etihad club.   I asked them if they had any nicknames for each other and this got us talking about my nickname of last 28 years 'SeeBass'. I was getting bullied at High School and some lad I knew and respected shouted;


"Kick their Ass SeeBass!!" 


Must come from Dumb & Dumber film and was intended to try get us to stand up for myself.  It just made me slump to my knees in laughter and so 'SeeBass' stuck.  Also made Oriane Hoeman cry but got told they were happy tears as she got emotionally involved over my life story.  Even have a nickname we came up with for Allyson Patterson.  Started calling her 'Little Iniesta' before she completed her time with program at end of season.  A lovely photo with the girls at end of Zoom chat was taken and is attached below.  Got it blown up and framed.  Means the world to me.   


A few days after Zoom chat we were sent a photo which I've attached to this email showing one of the girls with my nickname on her wrist.  Coaching staff must get the girls to write a name of somebody on some white tape as a reminder when things aren't going great in a game as to who they are fighting for and representing.  Cried like a newborn baby gesture meant so much to me.


Six of the team have now had their maximum four year stint with program so like Allyson Patterson won't be playing from start of 2022 campaign.  I'm utterly gutted as I've invested three years of my life into these half a dozen girls.  How can you not care about these ladies after such a journey with them.  


If you'd have said to me that within the space of three years I'd have went from being on the verge of wanting to kill myself to being so happy for my girls winning program's first ever Regular Season title with a 22 month break without them in-between because of Covid-19 we'd ask you what one had been smoking!


It is a story I feel needs to be heard given how much they have given back to me more so after winning that accolade above. Included a picture Elie sent of their end of term Christmas gathering with our trophy.  Five of the girls were sadly on way back home having booked plane and train tickets early.  Even sent the assistant coach some gift last year when he lost his 91 year old father.  Just wanted to cheer him up.  Again photo attached.  


Team photo in the dark is them at the venue evening before their NCCA 1st Round cup game against Mercy College.  They travelled four hours to said 'Big Apple' but frustratingly lost 1-0 with a 20th minute penalty to opposition winning match.











Edited by SeeBass
Messed Up SNHU link.
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  • 10 months later...

Just wanted to share the below passage I got yesterday.  It is from Hannah Rose the Southern New Hampshire University Women's Soccer goalkeeper who has played her 'Covid Year' and so has left is leaving the Program very soon.  I'd seen what looked like her profile page on Facebook so sent a quick message to thank her for the memories of last three years.


"Thank you for all your praise! I don't share this with the coaches or anyone else on the team, but when we write down on our motivations and our "why's" on our wrist tape before games, I always add a little bird to mine. That's all you sea bird!

Trust me when I say this, it has been such an honor playing for SNHU, and your never-ending support has been incredibly inspiring and motivating. I want you to know that you have gotten me through the tough parts of the season this year. Know that you're not forgotten and that you mean so much to the team. I'll make sure the newer girls and incoming classes know who you are, and hopefully, you'll get the opportunity to introduce yourself over zoom sometime soon.

Again, thank you so much. You're one of the reasons I play football. Much love, and I hope you and your family are well."

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