Holland in his final game for Playford

Recently I have been honoured to read several articles congratulating me on reaching 100 goals, one of them written with trademark wit by Playford legend James Holland. Whilst I haven't had the pleasure of playing alongside Holland during his last couple of seasons with the club, I owe him a great debt for helping me establish myself at the club in the first place. I can vividly remember my first Playford appearance, coming off the bench in a friendly at the King George V ground in Whitton. Within minutes of coming on, Holland had risen above the defender and flicked the ball on to play me through on goal, allowing me to tuck it away in the bottom corner and make the good first impression I was eager to make! This pretty much set the precedent for the next couple of seasons. Rich summed up our strike partnership perfectly on Facebook a few weeks ago as 'Holland heading, flicking or just booting the ball anywhere into the opposition half and shouting "Nick" as he did so'. A striker is only ever as good as the players around him though and there is no way I would have scored so many goals in my first couple of seasons without Holland's ability to hold the ball up, occupy defenders and create chances. He wasn't a bad finisher himself either, though I am sure he will be quick to dispute the use of the past tense in this sentence, despite having hung up his boots! It came as no surprise to hear of the massive impact he had on the Reserves and his presence in the dressing room will be missed by everyone at the club. All the best for the future Holland!

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