In the Spotlight | Summer Holmes

After returning from injury towards the back end of the 2023/24 campaign, women’s first-teamer Summer Holmes dissects the central midfield position before delving into the future to predict what her career, Wolves Women and women’s football could look like in five years’ time.

Positional play

Did you always want to be a centre midfielder?

I’ve always wanted to be a centre-mid. Steven Gerrard was my favourite player growing up, so I’ve always wanted to play there. When I was coming through at Wolves I did play up front for a bit, but I’ve always been a centre-mid.

What is the best part of being a centre midfielder?

Being able to get on the ball as much as I can. I enjoy being on the ball, getting into tackles and I just really like being the engine of the team and always being involved with everything coming through me. It’s the best position on the pitch.

What is the hardest part of being a centre midfielder?

Probably being that engine. You have to be constantly switched on to everything that’s around you, get back and help out in defence, and then have the legs to get up the other end. I have dropped a bit deeper in the midfield as I’ve got a bit older.

What qualities are needed to be a centre midfielder?

You need to have good awareness and be able to see all around the pitch – behind you, in front of you, out wide, and you also need to be able to pick a good pass and spray a few balls. You also need to have good control, and be calm and collected on the ball.

What do you work on most as a centre midfielder?

It’s mainly the switching of play. Getting the ball into feet from one position and then getting it out quickly to the wingers or up to the number nine.

What other position would you like to play?

It would probably be a striker. I think everyone would want to be a striker, although I probably wouldn’t fancy my chances up front – I don’t score many goals as it is, but I’d give it a go.

What is the hardest other position to play?

On the wings or as a wing-back. The game has changed massively since I first started, so the wingers and wing-backs are having to get up and down the pitch constantly, and they have to cover every blade of grass on their side.

Which other centre midfielders do you watch and learn from?

Sophie Ingle, who plays for Chelsea and she’s the Wales captain. She’s dating a girl who I used to play with, so I know Sophie and I do like to watch her play. I’ve seen how good she is in centre-mid for both Chelsea and Wales.


In five years’ time…

Personal achievements

I want to play at the top level still. I’m 28 now and I’m still kind of young, so there is still a chance of getting there, and hopefully I can do it with Wolves. If we can get promoted, carry on up the divisions and become a full-time footballer, that would be my dream. I would love to be a full-time footballer and play at the top level – everyone who’s ever played football wants to do that.

Wolves’ future

I’d hope Wolves were following the same path as I want to have taken. In five years I hope we’d have got into the Championship, become a professional club, and even pushing for the Super League. I think being in the Championship is realistic as we’ve come so close over the last few years, but every year this league gets tougher because of all the money and backing teams are getting.

Hopes for the women’s game

I think it can become a lot bigger. Obviously, it’s grown massive in the last three or four years, especially since England won the Euros and got to the World Cup final, and they’re getting massive crowds up in the Super League, there are record attendances almost every week, so it can only keep getting better and better, and with more money coming into it, the better it will become.

Changes to women’s football

Spectators are growing and that is key, especially for teams like us in the lower divisions. We need to get more money and more people watching the game, but also with the men’s game, teams have got so much more backing even when it comes to just staff at the club. At our level, we don’t have as much as the men’s team does, so increasing staff in the background will really help, as well as the fact we have to work as well, so come the end of the week, you’re tired.

Remembering the current Wolves team

Hopefully we’ll be remembered as the team who took Wolves into the Championship. Obviously, I want to win the league and we’ve come close the last few years, but if we could take Wolves into the Championship, and become a professional team, that would be a really proud moment for us all as that would change the game for Wolves Women.

This article originally featured in Wolves' official 2023/24 matchday programme. Last season's programmes are still available to purchase online through retailers Curtis Sports