Team of the Decade: Annie Holliday
Our next entry to our Women’s Team of the Decade is Savannah (Annie) Holliday as Reserve Midfielder.
Annie, well what can we say! One of the nicest and most gentle people you’ll ever meet, but an absolute warrior on the pitch.
Technically Annie didn’t meet the team of the decade criteria of having played two seasons, but the selection panel were able to justify her inclusion in this very special case due to her unfortunate injury record and her continued commitment to the club even after she was forced to stop playing. In fact, had she not had such limited playing time, she would certainly have been a challenger for the starting line-up.
When Annie arrived in Melbourne and popped up at pre-season training in 2016, there was a stir of excitement when we realised just how good this girl was. An ankle injury in a pre-season friendly meant she missed the start of the season but, after that, she didn’t look back. Annie’s strong and calm presence anchored the team throughout the season, and she contributed some vital goals in key games, not to mention countless assists.
Annie has an amazing ability to shrug off opposing players as if they’re not there, whilst she looks up to pick the perfect pass. This combined with excellent decision-making and intelligence, means she can really dictate the flow of a game. On multiple occasions, Annie took the game by the scruff of the neck and lifted the whole team when we most needed it – turning a slow stalemate into a convincing win.
After starting 2017 strongly, the dreaded ACL injury cut short Annie’s season, but she certainly played her part in the success we enjoyed that year and deservedly got her winners’ medal. Like the battler and legend that she is, Annie returned to the club to help out in a coaching capacity and has often been sighted watching our games in recent years, though unfortunately she hasn’t been able to play since the injury.
Truly a player to look up to and a leader on and off the pitch, I’m sure Annie would have captained the team at some point if she had played for longer. You never know, she might return to the field for another crack at some point – here’s hoping!