Can you give us some background about yourself and how you first became interested in football?
My dad was an avid Liverpool fan and I’ll never forget the first Match of the Day that I watched. Liverpool won 6-1 against Crystal Palace, something that’s pretty rare these days. But I remember Steve McManaman scored two, Robbie Fowler scored two and Jan Molby scored a penalty.
Myself and my brother always had a bunch of footballs though and played wherever and whenever we could. I think I was 7 or 8 when I signed for Llandudno Swifts U9s and I just fell in love with it from there.
You were picked up by Oldham Athletic as a youngster. What was that experience like?The Junior Leagues were very well organised and back then they used to cherry pick some of the stronger players to represent the league in a rep side tournament every year.
These tournaments were littered with scouts. A guy called Chris Tipton, who I’m still in touch with, did a lot of scouting for Oldham Athletic at the time and he organised a six week trial for me. I was also contacted by Wolves at the time too and was offered a year there but it was a decision that was taken out of my hands as it would have just hampered my school days.
So yeah, I signed with Oldham and would spend school holidays up there in the digs when I was 12-13 years old. Which was scary and intimidating but I got a sense of what it was like to be an apprentice footballer and train everyday.
When I reached 14-15 years old, they pushed me in to train with the Youth team, which was amazing. One of the things I had to do was the typical apprentice jobs like getting equipment ready, filling up water bottles, cleaning boots etc and I just loved it.
Then at the age of 16, it was agreed that I would move into digs full time and officially start with the youth team. It was fantastic and I was lucky enough to have some fantastic coaches and be part of a great team as well, because we had a lot of success with that squad.
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