20th September 2017
Jess living the dream by pulling on the famous white shirt of her beloved Leeds United
It’s every football fan’s dream to play for the club they support, but very few ever get the chance. For UCFB student Jess Holland however, turning out for Leeds United has become a reality.
The talented forward was snapped up by the Whites from Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town this summer, following the club completing its transition from Leeds Ladies to Leeds United Ladies.
Playing in the Women’s Premier League Northern Division One, Jess will spend the next year balancing her BA (Hons) Physical Education programme at UCFB Etihad Campus with scoring goals at Leeds’ famous home, Elland Road.
Jess said: “Playing for Leeds is probably one of the best feelings I could imagine. I have supported the club since I was young, so being able to wear the white shirt and the badge is a dream come true!”
She added: “Since joining things have gone really well. Each player on the team has been very welcoming and it hasn’t taken me long to fit in.”
The team will play most of their games at Wheatley Park Stadium in Garforth, but will also play a handful of fixtures at Elland Road. Jess said her personal aim for the season is to develop as a player and convince her coaches that she deserves to be in the starting 11 each week.
With a future goal to study a masters in America, as well as play professionally in the States, Jess must also balance her UCFB studies alongside playing for Leeds. Explaining how, she said: “It is always hard to balance your studies with a hobby if you need to be fully committed to both of them, but as football is mainly in the evening and on a weekend it is a bit easier.”
She added: “During the day I am focusing on my studies and making sure everything that needs to be done is done, then I can fully commit to football after and ensure that 100% work rate is put in at each session. As long as my studies are up to date it means I don’t have to worry about them when I’m at football.
When asked what she’s managed to take from her studies into the playing environment at Leeds, Jess added: “To be patient with new players on your team until you find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and a better understanding of how the body works to help you recover.”