As one of several Centre of Excellence graduates, Holly Musmeci made the step up to enjoy her first senior game of women’s football on Sunday afternoon against Ebbsfleet United.
At the heart of the Gills defence, Musmeci commanded great authority beyond her 17 years and impressed on her home debut.
Asked how she enjoyed the experience Musmeci beamed: “It was really good! Obviously it was tough but it’s been good to come into something new, play at a proper ground and bits like that. It’s a big step up but it’s one I enjoyed.”
“It has been a big step up but it’s been an exciting step. Training with the first team has been good and throughout pre-season so far it’s been interesting to meet everyone and grow into their standards. At the CoE you’re used to a certain standard but it goes up a notch and it’s been good to meet that.”
Training at the intensity senior football demands has certainly been something Musmeci has relished: “I’ve enjoyed training and being trained by the people we’ve had come in; Hess, Darren Hare and everyone.”
“Hess’ session was hard but at the same time you’re looking up to him in the position he holds and learning so much. Hess just applied the normal practices of the game and showed us a different side.”
Musmeci certainly showed an impressive side to her game against Ebbsfleet, demonstrating great leadership at centre back and continually supporting and guiding her team-mates: “I’ve always been loud on the pitch” Musmeci confessed, “Today I just brought in what I’d do for any normal game, I’m not going to change anything like that – I just try to help the way I can.”
Although the Gills were on the wrong end of the 4-0 scoreline, Musmeci and her team-mates took great heart from the challenge Ebbsfleet posed to them. “It’s disappointing to loose but I thought for certain parts we were the better team but when we went down two nil that’s tough.”
“Yet in the second half I thought we did well, in the last ten minutes we got a bit tired and you could tell that by the goals we conceded but considering it was our first game all together I thought it was pretty good. And for us to all join together was great and we’ve got some more pre-season games coming up to sort out any errors.”
And whilst the girls learn to jel as a unit, Musmeci will have the experience of playing with some of her CoE team-mates as the girls look ahead to this season.
“I’ve worked with Immo since we were 7/8 years old, Georgia and I played together last year on the left and there’s some others I know and have played with before so it was good.”
“Pre-season is all about earning valuable minutes and getting together as a team and I’m really enjoying that process at the moment.”