Out of your Comfort Zone

With Jon Davies

Can you tell us about your journey in sport as a child?

The first thing to say is that I never really had much talent for football as a kid. I wasn’t a bad player, but I was never going to be a professional. As a kid growing up in the UK, I have a brother who is a similar age to me so we used to play with our mates on weekends and after school. We also spent a lot of time at the park playing football and my first proper football memory was of Euro 96 with the likes of Gascoigne and Shearer. We would watch a game and like most young kids, we would go out after the game and try to recreate those goals. That’s really what got me into football. I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and my dad would take me to games – he’s actually a Port Vale fan so we went to watch them as well at the old Victoria Ground. It was quite an exciting experience for me, seeing the floodlights and things like that – it was amazing! 

It’s interesting actually – my dad is welsh and rugby is his main sport. I was named after a famous welsh rugby player, Jonathan Davies, so they wanted me to try rugby.  When I was younger he pushed me into a rugby team and I was a little bit reluctant. I was always quite small so it was quite an experience for me, in terms of the mentality required to play sport. I went to university in Wales too and played both football and rugby. I started with the rugby team and was playing as a winger because I was quite fast. The ball wouldn’t reach me very often and I remember that the football team always trained on the next pitch to us, so I would find myself watching them having fun and decided I would rather play football. I’m not sure that my dad was too happy about that though!

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