Swaby adjusting to life in Rome
Jamaica international and AS Roma Women defender, Allyson Swaby, said adjusting to life in the Italian League has been more difficult than it appears.
Swaby admitted her need to adjust to a completely different style of football, as she continues to find her feet in the Italian Women Serie A.
The Jamaican joined the Giallorosse in November for their inaugural season in the Italian top-flight and it appears that she has settled into Betty Bavagnoli's side seamlessly, becoming a regular in the heart of the defence.
"It's been very different to what I've been used to in the US, where things are generally more direct and physical. I've been able to see a different style of football, which is only improving my overall game. My first thoughts [about Italian football] are that the game is more focused on tactics and on the technical side," she told Roma TV recently.
"I'm starting to get more acquainted. It was a difficult transition, just because the style is different from what I've been used to. But every day and every training session, I'm getting better - and that's all I can really ask for," she said
Although Bavagnoli has a number of centre-backs at her disposal, all of whom have played regularly this season, Swaby says they all bring something different, but noted that competition for places keeps her sharp and on top of her game. "Every centre-back brings a specific strength, which makes all of us good together.
Each have something special that differentiates us from one another and we are able to feed off each other and challenge each other every day, so it's competitive to get on the field. Everyone is getting better here, whether or not you get on the pitch," she pointed out.
Her relationship with her coach has been key to her adjustment and she says the team's improvement is trending upward. "My relationship with coach has been great. She has been helping me adjust. I can be really hard on myself, she's been reminding me of my strengths and helping me keep calm when I get flustered," Swaby added.
Swaby, who helped Jamaica qualify for a historic FIFA Women's World Cup, got on the scoresheet in the team's 3-1 win over Florentia in their last game on Saturday, rising high at the back post to nod in a corner kick and give her team the early advantage in the 17th minute.
Swaby says the opportunity to join the Italian club came at the right time and that the presence of fellow Reggae Girl Trudi Carter at the club makes life in Rome a little easier.
"It fell in my lap perfectly right when I needed it, so I was really excited to get here and get started. Rome is beautiful, I've been here on holiday before, so I knew what I was getting myself into, everyone has been great and it's been very enjoyable," she said.
"I spend a lot of time with Maria Zecca and Trudi Carter. Maria is from the US East Coast and Trudi is my national team team-mate, so we have a lot in common," she added.