Jesse Lingard Nov 17, 2015 9:22:23 GMT
Post by CaajScot on Nov 17, 2015 9:22:23 GMT
17/11/2015 08:00, Report by Adam Marshall
VIDEO: LINGARD CHOSE UNITED OVER LIVERPOOL
Just days before Jesse Lingard's first senior call-up for England, MUTV interviewed the young Manchester United forward about his early years at the club.
Lingard has risen through the ranks with the Reds and has recently been rewarded with regular first-team appearances, the latest of which yielded his first competitive goal for United. With a potential international debut next on the cards, the 22-year-old can look back on his development with a sense of real pride.
We all loved seeing your goal against West Brom – was it the culmination of all your hard work?
Definitely. I’ve worked ever so hard to get here and I can’t thank the coaches enough for sticking by me. To see that go in the net was a great feeling for me and my family. It's up there with all the things I've achieved so far, like winning the FA Youth Cup. Hopefully I’ll carry on and score more goals for the club.
Tell us how you came from playing junior football in Warrington to playing in the Premier League for United's first team...
I was at a local club Penketh United and Mike Glennie, a Manchester United scout, came to watch me. He spoke to my grandad and offered me trials but there was also interest from Liverpool and I had to pick. I was only young but obviously my heart was with United at the time. Going through the years, I was with Larnell Cole, Mike and Will Keane, Sam [Johnstone], Ravel [Morrison] and Tunners [Ryan Tunnicliffe]. There are a lot of lads still doing their thing at other clubs and they’re happy seeing me where I am. I’ve won a lot of trophies – like the FA Youth Cup and the Reserves league a couple of times- but it would top it off to win the Premier League with the first team.
You played in the Under-15 Premier Cup for United and, for England, in the Under-17 Nordic tournament…
Personally, I didn’t think I was ready for England then as I was so small compared to the other players. I’ve got a picture at home and the shirt is down to my knees! But I was obviously going to play and represent my country after getting the call. As for the Premier Cup, I was still tiny then too. I've got a pic on my Instagram of me going up against these two big lads. We got to the semi-finals in that cup against Barcelona which was a positive experience. We had a great team back then, I thought we’d be going far but to lose the semi-final hurt. Barca were a good team, I think we should have won it in the end, but it was a good experience overall.
How did your development continue when you became full-time with the Academy?
In my first year, I didn’t really play for the Under-18s because of my physique. I played a few games with the Under-16s. But I started kicking on a bit in the second year with the Under-18s and, as soon as I was in the Reserves, Warren Joyce had faith in me on the left because he knew I’d do a job. I played most Reserves games and trained with the first team now and then under Sir Alex. Then David Moyes came in and I trained with them a lot more. Now it's Louis van Gaal and I’ve trained every day with the first team.
How big an achievement was your breakthrough into the Reserves?
It was massive, to come through with the other guys from the Under-18s, the likes of [Paul] Pogba, Larnell [Cole], Tunners [Ryan Tunnicliffe], and for us to be together playing for the Reserves. Matty James, Danny Drinkwater and Ritchie De Laet were in the team but we broke into it and Warren Joyce wanted me to play a lot of games with them to get experience. I remember playing against Aston Villa at Altrincham with Clevz [Tom Cleverley], Chris Smalling and Jonah [Phil Jones]. It was a massive compliment from Warren to play me in that game. Sir Alex was watching the game and I scored in it.
When you look back, is it strange to note how physically you’ve changed as well?
Definitely. For the transition from the Under-18s to the Reserves, I was with Warren in the gym every day. Even when I was on loan, I still had to keep the gym work up as he wouldn’t let me slack off at all. He knew the player I could be.
How would you sum up your football journey so far?
I think it’s just been an incredible experience, coming through from the Under-7s to where I am now and what I’ve achieved already. It’s been incredible and I can’t thank the United staff enough. They could have let me go because of my height and I would now be playing somewhere else but they stuck with me. They saw my ability and I’m thankful for that. I’ve won a lot of trophies – like the FA Youth Cup and the Reserves league a couple of times - but it would top it off to win the Premier League with the first team.