LIVERPOOL Football Club has added a new member to its current roster and she's none other than Malaysian host Reem Shahwa.
She may be known as the host of Football Overload, Sport Swap and Eurozone, but it was her blog, thekopsalad, that got Reem the opportunity of a lifetime to be the official Liverpool Football Club TV’s international presenter.
It was after Christmas last year when the 28-year-old got a tweet from Liverpool’s head of international digital development, Paul Rogers. And through a series of e-mails, Rogers explained that they were planning to do a show in Malaysia and asked if she was interested to host it.
"I didn’t believe him (at first) because you never know who’s at the other end with the Internet these days, right? But what made it legit was his sign-off with the Liverpool address at the bottom and I was like, 'This is the real deal!'" said Reem, who beamed with joy as she reminisced about the moment.
Between her full-time job and shooting for the football shows at least twice a week, she had no time to update her blog and had completely stopped since. But she hoped to someday go back to blogging.
Landing this new role was definitely a dream come true for Reem, who graduated with a double major in public relations and broadcast journalism from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, as she has been supporting the club ever since she was 11.
Reem, who used to play futsal once a week, recalled that her support for Liverpool came by “default” due to her mum’s passion for the football club. And it wasn’t until 1996 when Reem realised that she wanted to be in it for real after a trip to Anfield stadium, Liverpool FC's home ground.
However, Reem admitted that although she loves the club, she’s not necessarily “a walking encyclopaedia of Liverpool”.
“I would like to be the best representation I can of the club, but there’s still a lot to learn and now that I’m a part of the club, I get to learn on the job, which is faster,” said Reem.
With Liverpool’s win against Arsenal last weekend, Reem is confident that the team will beat the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium in London when they meet this Sunday for an FA Cup tie. “I would say yes, we stand a chance. The team has improved so much under coach Brendan Rodgers and, of course, the tag team of (Daniel) Sturridge and (Luis) Suarez. I think any defender, not just Arsenal but defenders from any other team, should be afraid of that lethal combination,” she said.
With this being FIFA World Cup year that is set to take place in Brazil from June to July, Reem was asked which country she supports. “I’ve been a huge fan of Spain,” she said.
“The manager Vicente del Bosque was with Real Madrid before he went on to coach Spain so he brought on that style of playing into the Spanish national football team. It’s just beautiful football.”
But she hasn’t forgotten our local teams as Reem, who supports Selangor FA, feels that youth teams such as Harimau Muda have much potential. “I don’t think it has anything to do with their (physical) size because if you look at (Lionel) Messi, he’s small but he’s the best player in the world.
“You just have to be really determined and focused,” said Reem, adding that former national football coach Datuk K. Rajagopal and the media have contributed to the growth of Malaysian football.
“I think coach Rajagopal has done a great job … the support from the media is important as well. We have shows that are centred around local football and a lot of local celebrities are getting into it so it has helped to really push the game. It involves patriotism as well. Nothing like sports that bring the country together,” said Reem.