Brett Holman Interview

Exclusive Interview with Qantas Socceroo Brett Holman

The first six months of 2008 has been a very good one for Dutch-based midfielder Brett Holman and he is hoping that it continues for a long time to come. Fresh from a UEFA Cup play-off win in Holland with club side NEC Nijmegen, he wants nothing more than to play a significant role in Australia-s World Cup qualifiers over the next month.

David Cooper caught up with Brett in camp with the Socceroos in Brisbane.

David Cooper (DC): Firstly, congratulations on your success in making the UEFA Cup for next season!

Brett Holman (BH): Thanks, it was an unbelievable achievement. No one expected it around the club and our goal virtually after the winter was to stay up in the 1st Division in Holland. We did fantastically well in the second part of the year and we achieved something that not many clubs will achieve and that-s reaching the UEFA Cup.

DC: It was some turnaround by the team, as relegation was certainly staring you guys in the face? BH:Yeh, we were coming second last when the winter closed and after the winter we had a couple of bad results, so it wasn-t looking too well for us. We got a couple of new signings after the winter and I think that balanced the side a lot more and a lot of experience and that helped a lot.

DC: Your form was particularly good, getting on the scoresheet regularly, so you must have been pretty happy? BH: Yeh, especially the second half of the year. The first half, I was out for the first three months with an ankle injury and that was disappointing. You have to worry about getting stronger and fitter and I felt that I did that in the second half of the year and I was a lot more confident and that showed on the pitch.

DC: So after getting through the UEFA Cup play-off-s pretty impressively, you must be looking forward to playing in one of Europe-s major tournaments next season? BH: Without a doubt. You don-t get too many opportunities to play in Europe and when I see Jason Culina for example playing in the Champions League that is a fantastic achievement and that-s something I look and say I want to do and play in.

DC: So are you fairly settled with your club career at NEC? BH: No, not at the moment. I have one more year left at NEC and hopefully I can make a move sometime soon whether that is now or at the end of next season. I-ll see what happens, I will play the next month with the Socceroos and see how we go. I-ll let my agent do the all the work and we-ll see what happens from there.

DC: I take it you want to move to a bigger club then? BH: Every footballers dream is to make it at a higher club and give it a go. You are never going to say no, if there is an opportunity to take a step higher in my career; I think I would take it.

DC: Given your good form at NEC, I take it your confidence is pretty high coming into camp with the Socceroos? BH: When you are winning and playing good football, well I think that shows when you come into camp, especially when you have good footballers around you. The likes of Brett Emerton, Vince Grella and Mark Bresciano, they are great players and it only shows when you are full of confidence that you play better around those players.

DC: You have been involved with the national team now for a few years. Are you feeling more comfortable when you come into camp these days? BH: I have always been around the fringes and there and thereabouts. I know virtually all the players now; they treat me well and it always a great feeling when you come into camp.

DC: Apart from Tim Cahill, pretty much every other midfielder is here, so it-s not going to be easy to get a starting spot! BH: Exactly. It keeps everybody sharp and everybody on their toes and I think the next couple days and weeks are going to be telling, because everybody is going to be vying for positions and working really hard at training. We-ll work hard and see what happens leading up to Iraq.

DC: How do you see the qualifiers panning out over the next month? BH: We-ve got four great games coming up within a month and I think the boys are going to do everything they can in their power to show the football world that we are ready to go a step higher and into the next group phase and we are ready for that challenge.

DC: Personally what goals have you set for yourself in the next month? BH: To get as much game time and show what I am capable of, like I have been doing in the Dutch 1st Division.

DC: Thanks Brett and good luck BH: No worries.