Boy’s A Bit Special
Exclusive FourFourTwo interviews with the best young footballers
From February 2006
Middlesex, March 16 1989
Some of the younger lads call me ‘Tiger’ after Mr Woods. They say I
look like him a bit – that’s where the resemblance ends I’m afraid!
I was a Liverpool fan, because my dad followed them. I wasn’t alive
during their golden era, but I enjoyed watching the likes of Michael
Owen, Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman. When Liverpool won the
Champions League, I went mad. I was shouting so loud I think I woke up
the entire village!
My touch, awareness and pace. At school I cleaned up in the 100 and 200
metres and before I left, I broke the 100m record with a time of 11.5
seconds. For Berkshire Schools, I was ranked in the top two for my age
but it was always going to be football for me.
Weaknesses My left foot. It’s so beneficial at this level to
be able to use either foot, so it’s something I’m working on. I could
also do a lot better with my heading.
I play a bit like...
You can’t compare me with the best striker in the world, but I suppose
I do play the game in a similar way to Thierry Henry. I like to drift
out wide and use my pace to wrong-foot opponents.
Making my debut against Wolves earlier in the season. I came on as a
sub for Kenwyne Jones and it almost became my most embarrassing moment
because I’d forgotten to put my shirt on! Fortunately one of the
backroom staff noticed, but once I got out there I enjoyed myself and
created a few chances.
Losing the FA Youth Cup Final to Ipswich, having won 16 games on the
bounce prior to the final, was very disappointing. So was our England
U17 showing at the European Championships. We were knocked out at the
group stage, having lost to Italy.
Charlton left-back Jonathan Spector. I played against him in a reserve team game and he gave as good as he got.
Best advice given
When I first started playing for the first team, Harry Redknapp always
told me to do the things that got me into the squad in the first place.
Since then I’ve just played my natural game and have been playing with
Danny Higginbotham is always messing about and is a really good laugh.
Although we don’t have an initiation ceremony at Saints, I did wake up
on the way home from our away trip to Hull to find my face covered in
Jaffa Cakes. I still haven’t found out who the culprit was.
I’ve still got a couple of months before I can start taking lessons!
Mind you, I’ve already got my eyes on an Audi A3 – a nice, steady car
to start off with.
Aside from my girlfriend, it would have to be Angelina Jolie. I saw her
in Mr & Mrs Smith recently and that Brad Pitt is a lucky guy!
Mr & Mrs Smith, for the above reason!
What’s on your iPod?
I listen mainly to hip-hop and R’n’B, like Jay-Z and Usher.
Tell us something we don’t know about you
I played for Swindon Under-11s for half a season and I remember we
played one tournament in Cardiff and because it was on Astroturf, not
grass, I had to play in my shoes!
Two Guys And A Girl. It’s a sitcom about three friends who share an
apartment in Boston. As it’s on Trouble, a lot of people probably
haven’t seen it. It’s similar to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
With my first pay packet I bought...
Some new clothes. If I remember rightly it was an Armani suit and a
pair of Timberlands. I have to add that I didn’t try them on together!
If I hadn’t been a footballer...
I’d have gone into athletics. You’ve got to utilise the things you are
good at and as I’m fast I’d have channelled all my energies into
Describe yourself in five words
Pacey, skilful, determined, family-orientated and handsome!
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010