Green & gold in ‘Claret and Blue’ – Aussie Brett Holman on Aston Villa
Brett Holman talks to Australian Times about joining Aston Villa, his ambitions for the season and life away from Australia.
FOLLOWING last season’s disappointment under Alex Mcleish, Aston Villa are looking to turn a corner in 2012/13 with an injection of talent from Down Under. At 28 years of age – Brett Holman leads the Aussie charge – joining the club from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. The attacking midfielder talks about his ambitions for the season, life away from Australia and playing for the Socceroos.
Brett, you spent a long time in the Dutch league – how excited were you to join the English Premier League and to play in Britain?
Playing in the Premier League is something that has been a dream for me since watching it as a kid back home at a young age. It’s finally come around and I’m just buzzing.
What are your aims for the next year?
As long as I’m performing and giving it everything and pushing for that starting XI spot, I’m happy.
When did you get here and what are your thoughts on life in Birmingham?
I got here just over two months ago, and it’s been good. Everybody has helped me out here, there’s a great group of lads here and everybody around the club has helped not only me settle in but my family as well. It’s been a really great first couple of months. If you need a hand with anything you just have to say and people will help you out. It says a lot about this club.
Aston Villa have started over this year. Do you feel that with the players you have around you, a top 10 finish is a realistic goal?
If you look at this squad and the quality players we have, we’re capable of playing some really good attacking football. I think we’ve shown that we can have a good year with the quality that we have.
What do you think of the Socceroo’s chance of qualifying for the next World Cup?
I experienced one World Cup and it was a great experience. To achieve that again would be fantastic. It’s not too bad a group, I think qualification is doable. Japan is probably the strongest team in the group other than ourselves so we’ll have to get stuck in. The away games are tough considering the climate, especially in the Middle Eastern countries, but you just have to get on with it and do it.
Fellow Aussie Chris Herd is at Villa as well – do you know each other at all?
I hadn’t met him before linking up with the squad. I think he was picked a couple of times but he never actually joined up with the Australian squad so I’d never met him. He’s a good young player, I’m sure he’ll do well in the future for Australia and for this club. He works hard and he could have a really good season this year.
You were signed by legend Louis van Gaal at AZ – how has he influenced your game?
He was great, he’s a fantastic coach and you can see that he’s one of the top coaches in Europe. He made me a better player in pretty much every way, and I’m very grateful to him for taking me to AZ and for improving my game.
What do you miss most about Holland?
I think there are different things about the culture that you pick up, the types of food and the way they do things – they have French fries with mayonnaise and stuff like that. You can usually adapt and adjust pretty easily to a new place. I think England is pretty similar to Holland as well.
What do you miss most about Australia?
Obviously you miss your family. I still have really good contact with my mum and dad. My dad watches a lot of the games though they’re on pretty early in the morning, he keeps tabs on what I’m doing. You have Skype and that kind of thing so they can see their grandkids, the way technology has moved on is fantastic. It’s difficult because they’re on the other side of the world but with all the things you can do nowadays it’s not too bad.
Thanks for talking to us Brett and good luck with season ahead!