Rebecca Holloway is enjoying life as a pro footballer for Birmingham City
PUBLISHED: 15:30 06 May 2020
Birmingham City Women’s Rebecca Holloway has said she is “living out her dream” as a professional footballer.
After signing for the Blues last summer, following the completion of her degree in Sports & Exercise Sciences at Cumberland University, Nailsea’s Holloway says coming back to play in the Women’s Super League is something that she always wanted to do.
“When I left Bristol Academy in 2014 I knew I wanted to return even before going out to America,” she said.
“After that experience I wanted to continue playing professionally and return to the WSL.
“I’m really glad I’ve been able to do that and follow up what I’ve sent to do.
“Even though I wasn’t as challenged in the States, I found coming back here into this professional environment with Birmingham I was really put out of my comfort zone, which is good and how you progress as a player.
“I’m glad I faced those challenges, especially my first year. I knew it was never going to be easy.”
Since moving to the Midlands, the Northern Ireland under-19 international has played in 11 of the 13 matches this season, but Holloway signalled out one in particular when Birmingham beat Liverpool to claim their first three points of the season.
“That game was pretty special to me, because I really found my flow as a player,” she added after City began the campaign with three defeats in a row to Everton, West Ham United and Manchester City.
“It took me quite a few games to really establish myself and feel comfortable and confident in the new position I was playing in.
“Liverpool was a game that I flourished in and I took it in my stride. Every pass I made I was confident and the whole team collectively played really well.
“That’s how we ended up getting that 2-0 win.”
After picking up another victory at Bristol City, Birmingham City would then lose their next five games in a row to leave them second from bottom and ultimately end Marta Tejedor’s spell as manager having been in charge since January 2019.
“We had talks as a team and collectively as a club that things were going to change in order for us to win games,” she added. “We are a team capable of so much more. I don’t think where we are in the league actually reflects that. The calibre of players we have we should be at least mid table or higher.
“As players and a club we knew something had to change and unfortunately that was Marta.
“It was a shame to see her leave because I had a good relationship with her, she really believed in me, trusted me, was the one who brought me in and gave me that starting spot. It was hard to see her go.”
However, since Tejedor’s departure, the WSL campaign has been suspended because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but Holloway and her teammates have been given exercises by the club in anticipation of a return to training at the end of May in preparation for possibly playing matches in early June.
“We are looking to play two or three games a week, because we have a minimum of 10 games to complete including the FA Cup,” she added.
“They (the FA) are determined to finish it, it’s going to be demanding on us as players, because three games a week at this high level, it’s going to be intense.
“They have been taking into consideration the risk of injuries as well because of playing so many games in such a short of space of time.”
However, 24-year-old Holloway admits she wouldn’t change what she does for the world.
“I’m living out my dream, but you have to remember it’s also the hard work you put in to continue living out your dream,” she said.
“That never stops, both on and off the field.
“It’s been nice to come home and switch off from it because it does give you that mental break.
“But when you’re playing and have got games week in, week out you have to be switched on all the time. I love football that’s no issue to me.”
Holloway ended by looking forward to what lies ahead and insists on helping herself to grow as a player in the years to come.
“I want nothing to do but to progress for the future,” added the centre midfielder, who can also operate as a full-back or a winger.
“Whether that’s getting another call-up for Northern Ireland (after being selected in the squad for the first time last August against Wales and Norway) or to continue playing in the WSL. I only want to play at this high level and that’s every player’s dream, to play at the professional level.
“To be in this environment and if I could have another year, I’ll be thrilled with that.
“It is such a short career, you only want to seize all the opportunities.
“If I can continue to do that, I’ll be so happy.”
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