People may wonder about the connection I have to Tash Stephens or why, out of all the players in England, I chose to sponsor a player based over 170 miles away. There is a simple answer to that question but let me start with the history, Aston Villa drew Portsmouth in the FA Cup in February 2016. Tash came on as a substitute for Portsmouth and caught my eye with her performance and work rate. Ever since that day, I have followed her career with Portsmouth and her subsequent move to Chichester City.
I always hoped to sponsor Tash while she was at Portsmouth but that honour had already been taken. With Chichester City and Portsmouth being so far away I don’t get to see Tash play as much as I’d wish but I always look for her result as soon as my the final whistle blows with Aston Villa.
I was lucky enough to get to go and see Coventry United vs Chichester City in April and finally mustered up the guts to say hi and ask for a quick picture. Even though we’d previously spoken I was still nervously hanging around to talk to her. I shouldn’t have worried, she was lovely to me and stopped even though the team had lost and she had a long journey home.
Photo: Sheena Booker
Tash had played previously played for Bishops Lydeard, QPR, Denham United and as I mentioned earlier, Portsmouth. She is currently part of Chichester City’s dynamic attacking line. In the 2014/15 season, Tash made 17 appearances and scored 2 goals for Denham United before making 57 appearances and scoring 12 goals for Portsmouth in between 2015/16 season and the start of 2017/18 season, adding 16 appearances for Chichester so far as well. In the stats, I could a total of 90 appearances and 14 goals at such a young age.
She is not only impressive on the field but also does a lot of work for charity with Portsmouth In The Community. It takes work to be a great player but heart to be a great person.
I am so proud to sponsor her and watch her grow and develop as a player. To be a part of it and help is an honour. Tash is truly an incredible person, she has a beautiful soul, she is a baller on the pitch and gives out some of the best banter on social media. But maybe I might be biased.
Photo: Sheena Booker