14-year-old Hollie has played for the Manchester United FA Girls’ Centre of Excellence for two seasons and previously played for Crewe Alexandra since the age of nine. She was first selected to attend an Elite Performance Centre training camp by England scouts when she played at Under 11 level and has since taken part in nine camps and one international match against Ireland.
“At first going to the training camp was quite scary and daunting because other girls had been there before, but once I’d been on my second or third I got used to it,” Hollie recalls. “The squads are quite similar each time and because they are a week long you start to get quite close with the other girls and get to really know them.”
Hollie continues, “Going to training camps has helped me to play quicker and it neatens you up as a player. It also really helps with confidence, especially going back to the United Centre of Excellence, as a lot of the girls look up to me and ask advice as to how they can get selected for a camp themselves.”
Hollie first represented her country against Ireland when she was 13 and remembers jumping around with exhilaration before making her England debut. However she now explains that the excitement is tainted somewhat by the pressure to succeed:
“When I’ve been chosen it’s obviously really exciting but because it’s so serious and you’re always trying to play well in order to get selected for the next camp or match, the pressure does take some of the enjoyment out of it.”
Hollie flew to Holland on Sunday 25th May and is hoping to make the team sheet for two matches against her Dutch counterparts before the team returns home on Friday.
“There’s not much more I can do now to get picked,” she says. “I’ve done all I can, all my training and testing, so they’ve probably already decided but it’s so nerve-wracking walking into the meeting when you know they’re going to tell you if you are playing or not.”
Hollie has two more seasons at the Manchester United Girls’ Centre of Excellence and in the future hopes to progress with her international career.
Find out more about the Girls' Centre of Excellence.