|view Holgate's match-by-match record|
Holgate got his first taste of first team action in the 2004/05 pre-season, when he came on as a late substitute in a friendly against Millwall in August 2004. Within three minutes of coming on, he opened his Town account - scoring with an excellent strike from twenty yards, though the Town went on to lose 2-1.
After helping the youths win the Youth Alliance South West Conference title, towards the end of the season, and with Swindon out of the race for promotion, manager Andy King began to experiment with younger players, and Holgate started to appear on the bench. He made his debut as a late substitute at Huddersfield on 30th April 2005 - but with the Town down to nine men following the dismissals of David Duke and Rory Fallon, Holgate was forced into a lone striker's role. Forty-eight hours later, Holgate starred for the youth team in their Youth Alliance Cup win - scoring both the goal that took the final against Burnley into extra time, and then one of the penalties in the shoot-out that won the trophy for Swindon. The following Saturday, he came on again for the first team, partnering Sam Parkin for half-an-hour in the last match of the season, at home to Chesterfield.
The following season, it was new manager Iffy Onuora who gave Holgate another chance in the first team, when, after impressing in the under-18 side, he came on for the experienced Tony Thorpe in an FA Cup First Round match against Boston. After the game, Onuora stated that though Holgate had pace, a good physique, and was technically good, he questioned whether or not he had the desire to succeed. Holgate responded by adding an aggressive streak to his game, and was rewarded over the Christmas period when he made his first senior start in the Boxing Day game against Colchester, helping the Town to a 1-0 win.
Though he started a game at Swansea on New Year's Eve, that was Holgate's last start of the season - a knee injury, along with the arrivals of Lee Peacock and Chris McPhee, and the emergence of Lukas Jutkiewicz putting Holgate down the pecking order. With the end of his scholarship period looming, manager Iffy Onuora sent Holgate out on a work experience deal with Southern League Salisbury City in April - he returned to the County Ground the following month to sign his first professional contract - a twelve month deal.
Under new manager Dennis Wise, Holgate made just two appearances early in the 2006/07 season, firstly as a substitute in a 2-1 win at Darlington, then starting in the centre of midfield for a Carling Cup tie with Brentford - a position that Wise himself suggested that Holgate would suit. Holgate played the whole 120 minutes, before missing one of the penalties in the shootout that saw them knocked out of the competition. In October, Holgate went out on a month's loan to Conference South side Newport County - but his time there was cut short by a back injury that kept him out into the New Year. When he returned to action, he was immediately loaned out again, this time to join new manager Paul Ince at Macclesfield, and after helping the Silkmen to avoid relegation, he was released when his contract expired.
date of birth
right-sided attacking midfield