Ceri Holland: Journey into English Football

Ceri Holland is Liverpool Women’s dynamic midfielder.

She is a key part of the Reds’ title charge in the Women’s Championship as they look for a swift return to the FA Women’s Super League.

The Merseyside outfit are top after 15 games with just a solidarity defeat, which came on the opening day of the season – at the hands of London City Lionesses.

Holland has featured in 13 of these matches.

Ceri Holland of Liverpool Women during a training session at Solar Campus on March 04, 2022 in Wallasey, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

She’s an integral part of Matt Beard’s squad, following her move last January.

But Holland’s route to The Reds was not how you would expect.

She joined from the University of Kansas – it was here that the Welsh international spent four years playing before returning to her homeland.

Holland says playing her trade in the States was the best decision she ever made.

“Honestly I loved every second of Kansas.

“I was in the Manchester City set-up but at the point in my career at 19 to make this decision to cross the Atlantic was a huge one, but as it’s worked out superbly, it was the best one.

“I loved it, moving there taught me a lot about myself as I’d barely stepped foot outside of Yorkshire and Manchester beforehand!”

A huge moment came for Holland just weeks into her time at Liverpool.

Having already been recognised at Under-19 level five years earlier, Holland had been called up to Welsh National Team following a great start to life at the Kop.

Wales Women’s Ceri Holland during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Qualifier group I match between Wales and Estonia at on October 26, 2021 in Cardiff , United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian Cook – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Originally, her transfer in flew under the radar.

Here, Liverpool signed a non-professional player unknown to the large portion of the fans.

But her start couldn’t have been any better as she scored just minutes into her debut away at Charlton Athletic.

Ceri remembers the goal: “I arrived late, I just put my foot through it, and it went in.

“I couldn’t have in my wildest dreams imagined even coming on so soon, never mind scoring.”

She was awarded with the league’s Player of the Month award the same month in March 2021, which was her first month as a professional player.

Now, Holland is flying.

She’s missed two games all season – both due to self-isolation – so she’s been an ever-present in the Reds midfield this season.

Her route to the top wasn’t as natural or straightforward as others, but perseverance, hard work, some tough decisions and dedication paid off.

And while her route wasn’t natural, her talent certainly is.

Liverpool return to action in the Women’s Championship on Sunday with a trip to Charlton Athletic.