After an exhausting and hectic season of football for Bristol Academy in the FA Nationwide Women's Premier League, including a number of international call-ups to England squads, we decided to give femaleSOCCER columnist and England youth international Katie Holtham a well-earned break. She's back now though and can't wait for the men's World Cup to start!
Come On England
I've been looking forward to this World Cup for ages and now the wait is almost over, with England playing their first match on Saturday, against Paraguay. This is the most exciting tournament since I've been an England fan because I really feel that if the squad performs to its best they have a great chance of bringing that trophy home.
I'm a massive Frank Lampard fan, probably because he plays midfield like me and his all-round game is just fantastic. He's a big player for England and one that I enjoy watching.
The tournament in Germany is a real festival of football and gives me the chance to watch so many different talented players, with varying styles of play and it's a great opportunity to take things on board and try to incorporate them into my own game.
No Rest For The Wicked
My season with Bristol Academy might have finished, but I still haven't had a rest as yet. I'm still training with the FA development centre at Loughborough University and there's also been the call-up to the England under 21's squad for the 0-0 draw with Sweden, as well as a call-up to the senior squad for the recent win over Hungary.
I played in the match for the under 21's and overall I think that a draw was a decent result. We had quite a few players making their debuts at that level and Sweden are always a good outfit in women's football at what level you play them.
The under 21's squad also has a forthcoming trip to Norway in July to compete in the Nordic Cup, which is a very prestigious youth event that most of the big teams enter. The United States and Sweden entered last year so it should be a real challenge for us and one we're all very much looking forward to.
Having had such a long season both for Bristol and on the international scene, as well as my academic studies, I'll happily admit I'm desperate for a holiday! There's a few more weeks training here at Loughborough but then I'm intending to take a last minute trip away somewhere. Maybe one of the Greek islands, get a bit of sun on my back, whilst watching the World Cup of course!
If any of you would like to ask Katie for advice or perhaps just give some feedback on her column, please feel free to contact her directly at email@example.com
Katie Holtham is the former captain of the England under 19's team. She is a central midfielder and plays her club football for Bristol Academy in the FA Nationwide Women's Premier League, for whom she is also captain. Katie was also called up for the senior England squad training camp at La Manga in January 2006 and has been in a number of England under 21 squad call-ups.
She has also previously played for Lincoln City Ladies in the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division and is in her second year as a student at the FA's Loughborough University-based National Women's Player Development Centre.