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Dylan focused on the Matildas
Written on the 25 August 2015
Recent Scotch College graduate Dylan Holmes is super fit, super keen and super focused on one day making Australia's women's soccer team - the Matildas.
The 17-year-old from Heathfield is on the right path having recently returned home from Vietnam as a member of the Young Matildas.
The young Australian side blitzed its opposition at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under 19s Women's Championship, scoring 28 goals and conceding none in three games against Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam. The success means the team progresses to the next round of the AFC championships in China in August 2015 where it will have a chance to qualify for the FIFA Under 20s Women's World Cup in Jordan.
The preliminary qualifier in Vietnam was Dylan's first taste of international competition.
"It was pretty amazing," she said.
"It was one of those moments when you think all your hard work has paid off.
"I think the one moment when I was like 'wow' was when I put on the Australian jersey right before the game."
Dylan said she performed well in Vietnam but she was not guaranteed a spot in the side going to China.
Having just finished Year 12 at Scotch, she plans to take a gap year to concentrate on her soccer and secure her position in the Young Matildas by attending training camps run by the Australian Institute of Sport. Dylan also hopes to continue playing for the Lady Reds, the Adelaide United women's team she joined last year.
The young woman started playing indoor soccer when she was four, encouraged by her English father, Steve Holmes, who is passionate about the game. The family moved from northern California to the Adelaide Hills when Dylan was nine and she played for Cumberland United. She earned her first State shirt when she was 11 and went on to represent SA in the U13s, U14s and U15s and spent two years with the U17s.
She looks up to Danish player Katrine Padersen who plays for Adelaide United and has accrued a record 210 international caps for Denmark.
"She plays my position (centre midfield) and she's very smart," Dylan said.
Dylan says she cannot imagine what life would be like without soccer but she knows that even if she joins the elite of her sport she can never make a living out of it.
Even in the US, most of the players who reach the national level need a day job.
"My aim is to play for the Matildas one day," she said. "... I know as a career it's not realistic because I'm a girl."
Dylan might have to concentrate on business or accounting to make a living but she is full of encouragement for other young women who love sport.
"Work hard and be committed," she said. "It's amazing when it all pays off."
Article originally appeared in the Barossa Valley Leader, 19 August 2015 by Genevieve Cooper. Photo: Barossa Valley Leader
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