While signing with NWSL expansion team Angel City FC may have been a dream come true for Allyson Swaby, the abrupt ending to her three-run with Roma left the club in a bit of a pickle. Tecla Pettenuzzo, who is certainly no slouch herself, will likely receive the lion's share of minutes next to Elena Linari in defense but, if nothing else, the club needed another body to assume Swaby's spot in the rotation.
And, in grand Friedkin fashion, Roma snuck a signing in under our noses, announcing the transfer of Beata Kollmats, who joins the Giallorosse from Swedish club BK HÄCKEN, where she was not only the club captain but hoisted both the Swedish Cup and Supercup in recent seasons.
"I feel like this is a good challenge for me. I hope to develop both on the pitch and off the pitch by coming here."— AS Roma Women (@ASRomaWomen) January 15, 2022
️ Beata Kollmats is looking to make a big impression for the Giallorosse! #ASRomaWomen #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/lnpAKG36IY
Kollmats, a 29-year-old Swedish defender from the port city of Göteborg, has spent her entire career in her homeland, spending parts of 10 seasons with Göteborg before signing with BK HÄCKEN last season. Despite making the jump in leagues, Kollmats has something very few Roma players possess: Champions League experience.
On her decision to sign with Roma, Kollmats immediately touched upon the potential for growth:
I feel very honoured to be a part of AS Roma...The club is aiming to achieve big things and I want to be a part of that journey. I think I will develop a lot as both a player and person by being here, and at the same time I hope that I will be able to contribute to the team with my experience.
Kollmats describes herself as a physical defender, one who reads the game well and enjoys being part of the buildup phases, while also being able to contribute with both feet; traits that will play well in Spugna's up-tempo attack.
While she was only unveiled this morning, Kollmats has been with the club for several days and gave her first impressions on her new squad, while also describing what she brings to the table:
“It's really good, the girls are nice, the staff, too. I've done a couple of trainings and I think the first impression is very good, so I look forward to spend more time with the team...I will bring experience and a great mindset. I'm always 100% committed and I love to win.”
On her new defender, Head of Women's Football Betty Bavagnoli spoke on Kollmats’ technique and vision:
Beata is a player blessed with both technical ability and a good vision for the game, qualities that fit well with our ideology...She has decided to take on a new challenge with us and we are convinced that her leadership qualities will help us a lot
Kollmats’ agents, CMG Management—who also brought new goalkeeper (and fellow Swede) Emma Lind to the club last week—gave a bit of insight into Kollmats’ path to Rome:
In March 2020, Beata suffered from a knee injury that forced her to rehab for 18 months. However, this autumn she was back on the pitch, and was back in form with BK Häcken. With the injury behind her and the feeling of a fresh start, she is now ready to ‘level up’ once again after playing in Gothenburg since 2011.
I’ve followed Beata for the last 15 years of her career and I have seen her develop from being a young, talented player to become a true leader, a captain and a key player for one of the best teams in Sweden. Beata has been taking big steps every year but nothing has impressed me more than her last two years. She has shown how consistency and hard work are key words, she has done a world class rehab, a strong come back and within weeks after she performed on the highest possible level in Champions League against teams like Lyon and Bayern Munich. Goosebumps!
To watch Beata in Roma will be very exciting. Her strengths with her passing skills, view of the game and her technique will fit great into the way Roma wants to play football. We are confident the move to Roma will help Beata take new steps in her career and make her reach another level, a level she never reached before
While it remains to be seen just how Spugna will utilize his new defender, if she's as technical and as skilled on the ball as her agents suggest, her transition to life with Roma will be seamless. Pettenuzzo will likely retain the starting spot in the short term, but Kollmats brings something to the backline Pettenuzzo lacks: size. At 5’8”, Kollmats is a near carbon copy of Swaby, so she could pair well with Linari.
No matter where she slots in, kudos to Bavagnoli once again for finding a hidden gem, and one with Champions League experience to boot. Kollmats, much like the organization's other recent signing (Sergio Oliveira on the men's side) will wear the 27 shirt and has signed through June 2023.