WHEN you ask Holly McQueen about her ambitions in football, she casts her eyes towards Europe. And that’s no surprise, with 10 of the Matildas’ World Cup squad playing in England alone. But McQueen knows that to reach the heights she aspires to, she has to deliver here in the W-League.
“I’ve got a job to do,” she says. And that job is to form part of what she describes as a “solid block” at the back for the Brisbane Roar, a setup that suits the young leader. She also recognises that having got this far is a dream come true in itself.
“I always wanted to be a professional footballer,” McQueen says. “I supported the Roar as a kid and it was my dream to wear the orange jersey.”
The talented defender may look further too. One-time QAS Player of the Year and recognised as a rising star of the Aussie game, McQueen has done Ipswich proud so far this season. And she can feel that pride from the fans.
“It’s really exciting,” she says. “We’ve felt the energy has lifted 100% after the World Cup. There’s more fans, more sponsorship.”
And of course, since the Ipswich native is playing for her home side, she enjoys the support of family and friends when the Roar play at home. It’s a big inspiration.
“I have a good friend group who come to watch. My cousins come and it’s great to see familiar faces in the crowd. It makes winning so much sweeter to be able to celebrate with family.”
She needs the family because the competition is fierce. Let her standards drop and she knows what awaits.
“The group’s friendly but there’s a strong contest for a spot in the team. You’ve got to be on top of your game because there’s always someone hungry for your spot.”
McQueen doesn’t lack for hunger. Her early career with the Roar was blighted by a serious knee injury and you never know what kind of recovery you’ll make from that. But she worked hard and fought back from it. Now you’d never know she’d done her ligament at all.
“The club kept me involved,” she says. “It was a crazy time but it’s all good now.”
In fact, she’s loving life with the Roar. “It’s good,” she says. “It’s home and I love to be home.”