Shay Hollman reflects on Academy importance

Sydney FC Women’s midfielder Shay Hollman is eager to win a Premiership-Championship double as the Sky Blues’ academy graduate reflects on her pathway to the first team.

Having recently started back-to-back games in the Liberty A-League for the first time under Ante Juric, Hollman is eager to continue her consistent minutes for the senior side.

The 17-year-old burst onto the scene in last season’s Premiership-winning campaign and the youngster was quick to praise the Sydney FC boy’s academy for her rise to the top.

“I was training with the Sydney FC boy’s academy for about three years in the end and then went straight into the A-League Women’s,” said Hollman.The training environment with the boys academy was amazing, I think it improved my game a lot. Obviously being up against physical boys definitely challenges your game but in the end it makes you a lot better.

Shay Hollman in training

“All the boys were super nice and for Sydney FC to be so welcoming as I was the only girl training there for about three years was super nice of them, it helped me develop my game a lot and ultimately led me into the Sydney FC Women’s squad now so it’s been a really good pathway mainly for development for me.”


Accustomed to sharing the field with boys throughout her youth career, Hollman has always competed with her older brothers – with Corey Hollman recently graduating to the Sky Blues’ first team and Jake Hollman progressing through the Sydney FC academy to eventually join Macarthur Bulls.

“There’s always been competition!” Hollman added.

Shay Hollman on the ball

“But in the same way it was so perfect because we could always train together.

“We would go up to the oval with each other during COVID lockdown and just kick the ball around, playing with them has very much benefited my career.”

A star midfielder on the rise, Hollman recently captained the U18 Matildas to an Asean Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship in August this year.


The youngster would win the tournament’s Best Player award in Indonesia as she led her side to five undefeated matches – conceding just a single goal in the process.

“It was a really great experience, I would go back and do it all again,” Hollman said. “We had a super good group of girls and the experience in general to captain your country was awesome, but to also win the tournament and get player of the tournament, like it was the best day of my life!

“Eventually I’d love to play for the Matildas one day, obviously it’s a big goal of mine but at the moment I’m very happy with Sydney FC and I’m learning, developing here and we’ll just see what happens.”

Grounded in her approach, Hollman is fully focused on giving her all for the Sky Blues cause and is eager to add more silverware to the trophy cabinet.

Shay Hollman poses at the start of this season

“Obviously Premiership and Championship is our main goal,” said Hollman. “But at the moment we’re taking each game at a time and just focusing on the game ahead of us and getting the three points each round.

“But the main goal is to get that Premiership again for the third time and then obviously this year get the Championship.

“I think we’re very capable.”

Sydney FC are currently developing plans for a Female Football Academy but young female players can follow Shay Hollman’s pathway to success by applying to join our Academy Training Program.

The Program is for 12, 13 and14-year-old girls and will become a important pathway for young players when our Female Football Academy opens.