Interview: Dulwich Hamlet’s Asia Harbour-Brown

Photo: Ryan Asman

We are so proud to collaborate with some amazing clubs and players by sponsoring them and today I catch up with one such player, Dulwich Hamlet’s progressive full-back, Asia Harbour-Brown to find out more about her and to discover how the season went for her.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I’m from a town called Arlesey which is in Bedfordshire. I’m left-footed so have always played on the left-hand side, when I was younger I was more of a midfielder/ winger but over the last few years, I’ve played more as a left-back.

I’ve always supported Arsenal since I was young so it’s been great since I moved to London as I’ve been able to go to a few games.

For our readers that might not be familiar with you, could you tell us about your strengths and what you enjoy most about football? 
I think one of my strengths has always been my fitness & physicality and tactical awareness. I’m not really a ‘tricks & flicks’ kind of player so love a nice team move which has probably come from being an arsenal fan and adopting that playing style philosophy.

A big part of my love for football is of course the friends you make through it, but I think is with any team sport. I think what I enjoy about football is that it is something everyone can get involved in and can bring people together through watching, playing or just supporting the same team. And then the more I played the satisfaction came from watching games on TV or YouTube videos and practising it in the back garden until you can do it yourself.

How did you feel going into the season after having two seasons curtailed due to the pandemic? Was there a bit of trepidation as to whether this one would be able to conclude?
I wasn’t actually playing for a team when the 2 seasons were cut short because of covid as I had just come back from travelling in March 2020 and was living back in Bedfordshire. I think because I hadn’t experienced the seasons being cut short it wasn’t really a thought I had at the start of this season because I was just excited to be back playing.

Going into the 2021/22 season what were your personal targets for the year?
As I said in the last question I hadn’t played competitively for a few seasons before the 21/22 season so I didn’t really have any personal targets and was more just to get back into playing and finding a team environment that I enjoy.

Your league, the London & South East Regional Women’s Premier, is an incredibly competitive division. How far do you think most of your league is away from being able to compete at tier four National League level? I’d suggest not too far off.
I completely agree, I had no idea it was going to be such a competitive league and I think quite a few of the teams in our league would hold their own in the league above, the challenge is just getting there.

[blockquote text=”I think what I enjoy about football is that it is something everyone can get involved in and can bring people together through watching, playing or just supporting the same team.” show_quote_icon=”yes” text_color=”#dd3333″]

Do you have a personal highlight from this season with Dulwich Hamlet?
I think my first game was probably the highlight. I think around 250 people had come to watch and I hadn’t ever really played in front of a crowd that size before so at the time I was quite nervous, and I was also incredibly unfit so at the time it was a bit of a struggle. But I would say it is the highlight because it was my introduction to the club and just made me really feel part of the team and I was just really excited to start the season (and it’s always nice to score on your debut)

Do you have a favourite goal scored this season? 
I don’t have loads to choose from which makes this easier! But I think my favourite is possibly the worst goal from a technical point of view. It was a toe punt from about 5 years out from a loose ball from a corner against Ashford in a game that we drew 1-1. It was quite early on in the season and at that time it felt like a massive game that could really kick start our season. I think the celebrations as a team were the most passionate, defiantly out of my other goals. It was just a shame that we couldn’t hold on for the win.

We’ve touched on season highlights but we know that a football season is a bit of a rollercoaster, was there a season lowlight?
I can’t really pinpoint one particular moment but there were just a few too many games where things just weren’t clicking and the most frustrating thing is not knowing why or how to fix it.

How/What did you learn from this experience?
I think the biggest learning from games like this is how important the psychological side of the game is, and that that side also needs to be trained.

Photos: Ryan Asman

How did it feel when you learned that you’d been recognised with the Player’s Player of the Season Award?
I was honestly so flattered, especially with the standard/technical ability in the team and it being my first season. It’s always a special feeling when it’s been voted for by your teammates and just made me excited to start next season with everyone.

Have you begun to think about next season or is it all about a bit of rest and relaxation first?
Yeah, I have already been thinking quite a bit about next season. This season started off as just getting back into playing and then very quickly changed to a more competitive mindset. I’m already thinking about getting started with pre-season and making sure I’m prepared and have worked on the areas I want to improve on.

Finally, we have been proud to have sponsored you this season. What impact does being sponsored have for you personally?
It has just been really encouraging and almost a confidence boost to know I have had the support of Since 71. I always have the intention to play as well as I can every week but it is a little extra motivation to play well as if it is giving something back for the support.

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