Dylan Holmes' special Swedish Cup win
Dylan Holmes called it the hardest decision she’s ever had to make.
Leaving her Adelaide United side right before the Westfield W-League finals, she took up an offer with Swedish champions BK Häcken.
Since then she has made her Westfield Matildas debut, started the Damallsvenskan season, and already earned a first piece of silverware.
“It was a pretty special feeling winning my first trophy in Sweden, the Swedish Cup. Most of the games happen before the league starts so the final was only three or four games into the season.” Holmes told matildas.com.au
“I’ve only been here a couple of months so it was really cool to win my first piece of silverware here and to play the 90 minutes in the final. It was definitely a special moment and one that I’ll remember for a long time.”
The Swedish league is only a few rounds old but Holmes is enjoying the challenge and learning a lot.
“The league, the quality is really high and there are some amazing players and I’m lucky that I’m getting to play in a really good, technical team. It’s definitely been an adjustment, the pace of the game is very quick and tactically it’s a bit different as well but I’m so far really enjoying it and learning a lot, so I’m just trying to learn as much as I can.”
Among the things she is learning is a new position. Traditionally a central or defensive midfielder, Holmes has been utilised in the backline for Häcken.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve been playing either on the right or left side of a back three which has definitely been a bit of an adjustment going from playing as a 6 or an 8 in the midfield to playing in the backline."
"But the way this team plays, we like to have the ball, we like to get on the ball and move it quickly so in the set up I sometimes feel like more of a midfielder than a defender so I think it suits my game well.
“It’s definitely been a bit of a learning curve but I think it will be really beneficial to me in the long run to learn a new position and to see the game in a different way. I’m really enjoying it and it’s been good so far.”
A new position isn’t the only thing the 24-year-old has been adjusting to. After spending multiple seasons at Adelaide United and in the NPL competition in South Australia, Sweden is providing a variety of new experiences.
“I think the most challenging thing has been adjusting to the new style of football and different circumstances. Like the travel arrangements are different, the food’s different, just little things that you’re used to doing one way at home and then you come to a new country and they’re done in a different way so you have to adapt.
“I think that’s definitely been a little bit of an adjustment but to be a top professional you have to be able to adapt quickly so I think that’s something that’s going to be important for me to get used to and to learn.”
Although it was a hard decision for Holmes to leave, she feels as though the move was the right one and is already reaping the benefits of it.
“I think I’m definitely happy that I’ve made the move, I think I’m in the right place and this is a good step in my career. I’m really happy to be here and feeling really grateful that I get to do this as my job.”
“So far being at Häcken has exceeded my expectations, the level is just so high so every day at training the intensity is really high and the quality is really good. The standard of the league has been really amazing, the other teams are really good and the professionalism is second to none. It’s definitely exceeded my expectations so far and I’m really enjoying it.”