Fantasy Football #1: A girl's fantasy with Wayne Rooney

Scott Dann because he’s cheap, Fabregas for his pretty name, Crouch for his dancing skills… all topped off with Bridget Fitzsimons’ pink and purple strip as our sportphobic News Editor begins her Fantasy Football endeavours…

Recently, I’ve been engaging in some deviant – and quite shocking – behaviour. When I tell people what I’ve been up to, they’re amazed, surprised, and in some cases even appalled. Fantasy football is not the type of thing you’d associate with someone like me.

While I’m hardly a bimbo, sports are not my forte. I love fashion and film, and I want to specialise in Feminist Theory if I do a Masters. I play the flute, and was always picked last in sports in school. I don’t know my defenders from my strikers, and had to have the offside rule explained to me in terms of shoes (if you’re queuing at the till with no money, it’d be rude of you to go ahead of the woman ahead of you, unless your friend throws you their purse…).

It was something so simple that inspired this Sex and the City-watching, sports ignorant news writer to try out fantasy football. I’m horribly competitive, you see, and love nothing more than getting one up on my production weekend friend, Sports Editor Killian Woods.

I started with trepidation. A mini-league was created so that I could begin mid-season with everyone else starting on zero. Coming up with the ever-creative name of Team News, I went about creating a pretty pink strip. Then the tricky part started: picking the team.

While I’m no expert, I do know a few players. I started off alone, begging little nuggets of advice from Killian and our Deputy Editor, Gavan. However, to my credit, I made a lot of the selection myself. While I may have eschewed traditionally ‘good’ players like Ashley Cole and Jermain Defoe, simply because they had cheated on their women, I assembled a team that had Killian jealous.

I knew that Wayne Rooney was a sure bet, I liked Peter Crouch’s robot dance when he scored, and admired Ryan Giggs for being an older player in a young man’s game. Being Irish, Shay Given was a shoo-in, as was Damien Duff, and on advice from those around me, I picked Aston Villa defenders. I liked the sound of Cesc Fabregas’ name, and my remaining players and subs were picked by their performance this season and out of the money I had left.

For something I thought would be so alien to me, I’m having a lot of fun – and I’m currently second in our office mini-league. Production weekends are brightened up by my team scoring points, and I’m finding myself genuinely upset when I do badly. Who knows – maybe this is the start of a long and illustrious career in fantasy sports. Hopefully Fantasy Six Nations will go as well for me as fantasy football has so far…

Read Bridget Fitzsimons’ Fantasy Premier League diary, and Catriona Laverty’s forthcoming exploits in Fantasy Six Nations, at