Boy’s A Bit Special
Exclusive FourFourTwo interviews with the best young footballers
I’m usually ‘Rowey’ or ‘Tommy’ but one of the management staff has started calling me ‘Merlin’. I don’t know why.
Manchester United. It’s my local club and I used to be a season-ticket holder. I was at United’s Academy for a while but was released at 15.
My main strength is receiving the ball, turning and attacking defenders. I have plenty of pace so I try to get round people and deliver crosses or get a shot off.
That has to be my right foot. I’m very left-footed and I’m trying to change that. I am staying behind after training to practice with my right and it’s starting to pay off.
When I was growing up it used to be Ryan Giggs but I would have to say Lionel Messi now.
That’s easy: scoring a hat-trick against Rotherham earlier this season. I got across my marker twice to score headers and also hit a flashing volley into the corner of the net. I celebrated it with sandwiches and energy drinks on the coach on the way home.
Spending a lot of last season on the bench and missing out on the play-offs.
Best player played with
My captain at Stockport, Ashley Williams, is fantastic. It’s not just his ability in defence, but the way he leads the team.
I made my debut at Watford and they had Ashley Young playing for them – you could tell he was a cut above. I tried chasing him back a few times and he was impossible to catch.
Biggest practical joker
There were two at our place who’d do crazy things. Anthony Elding has now gone to Leeds, but Adam Proudlock is still here. I remember them jumping into a nearby river after one game for no reason at all. We were all in stitches.
That has to be my parents. They made sure I never missed a session or a game when I was growing up. My dad lost two or three jobs because of ferrying me and my brother around. I am eternally grateful for that.
Ford Fiesta. A few of the lads have had them at the club and they’re now getting bigger cars. I’m going to stick with the Fiesta, though.
I know it’s dull but I’m going to have to say my girlfriend or else there’ll be trouble.
The last time I went to the movies I saw Superbad. I enjoy comedies and I was just talking to my girlfriend about going to see Will Ferrell’s latest film Semi-Pro.
If I hadn’t been a footballer
I thought about being a physio. But now that I’m playing I’m glad I didn’t go down that route – I hate the treatment room!
Tell us something we don’t know about you
Until about two years ago I used to be 5ft 3in – Manchester United even released me from their academy because I wasn’t tall enough. Both my parents aren’t that tall either, so I was relieved that I had a growth spurt and now stand at 5ft 11in.
Play now as you mean to carry on.
If I could play with any player
That would have to be Cristiano Ronaldo. He makes the game look so easy.
Most embarrassing moment
When I was a youth trainee we had to stand up in front of all the players and the management staff and sing a Christmas carol.
If I could have one superpower.
I would like to be as fast as lightning.
Describe yourself in five words
Determined, confident, hard-working, cheerful, kind.
I managed to pick up 10 GCSEs but I think my report read that I was more interested in PE than anything else.
In five years’ time
Hopefully, I’ll be playing in the Premiership.
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