Exclusive: Two local A-League Women stars reveal how Women’s World Cup co-host Australia makes them dream big
- Holly McNamara and Shay Hollman dare to dream
- Both rising stars in the A-League women’s competition
- Inspired after seeing Matildas at the World Cup on local shores
Watching the Matildas take on Ireland in front of over 75,000 fans at Sydney’s Stadium Australia was a surreal moment for Shay Hollman and Holly McNamara.
And if the two youngsters have their way, they will be the players fans cheer on at future World Cups.
McNamara, 20, is a rising star at Melbourne City, who already has three caps to his name.
The 17-year-old Hollman is still in high school and is winning many fans for his tenacious performances in midfield for Sydney FC.
both spoke with Daily Mail Australia about being part of the rise of women’s football in Australia.
Melbourne City star Holly McNamara is only 20 years old, but she already has three Matildas caps on her footballing resume.
Shay Hollman is months away from sitting in his HSC, but he already has a long-term contract with Sydney FC
“It was amazing to see the girls in Sydney, the crowd was amazing,” said talented forward McNamara.
‘Personally, after getting a taste of international football during the Asian Cup last year, I definitely want more.
“Training and playing with the likes of Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley was a rushed time. I also saw how everyone behaved off the pitch, they are all very professional.
“To be a part of that (Matildas’) journey in the future would be amazing.”
McNamara is also clearly resilient, having torn ACLs in both knees, but she remains as determined as ever to live her sporting dream.
Hollman comes from a family whose sporting pedigree is impressive.
His brothers Jake (21) and Corey (19) play for Macarthur Bulls and Sydney FC respectively, and growing up on Sydney’s northern beaches, the youngest of the trio spent a lot of time playing football with his brothers.
Being able to walk a path similar to that of Matilda captain Sam Kerr is the goal of many rising footballers.
Matilda’s left back, Steph Catley, is another pin-up athlete that many young players aspire to be.
“I started locally at Seaforth, before playing for (representative side) Manly United and then NSWIS,” he recalled.
‘Sydney FC then invited me to train with them, and eventually (manager) Ante Juric gave me a chance.
“Making my debut at 16 and then being offered a full-time contract is something I’m very proud of.”
Hollman, who bases her game on Australian cult heroine Katrina Gorry, also impressed when she captained the Junior Matildas to win the AFF Under-18 Women’s Championship last August, earning Player of the Tournament honors in the process.
Like McNamara, Hollman is eager to prove herself abroad and takes comfort in the fact that many established Matilda stars have shown that it can be done.