Stephen Folan is the second instalment of youth interviews, following on from Adam Campbell’s interview with NUFCblog last week, which hopefully you all found interesting. I also got in touch with Stephen via twitter and he pointed me in the direction of the club, once I got no reply from the club I went back and asked Stephen if he could pull some strings from his end, and thankfully managed to sort it out.
Just before the interview I’d like to thank Stephen for the effort he’s put in to help sort this out for us and thank him for the time he’s taken out of his busy recuperation schedule to answer a couple of questions.
What team do you support?
I supported Arsenal as a kid but when I moved over to Newcastle and went to my first game I changed. It’s safe to say I support Newcastle now.
Who is your best mate at NUFC?
Probably Brad Inman or Nile Ranger, everyone is quite close to be fair, there is a great togetherness amongst the first team and reserve team squad.
Who is the funniest player at NUFC?
Well it depends on what kind of funny you’re on about , stupid funny hands down goes to Nile Ranger, but one liners and general banter definitely Conor Newton.
Who is always last of the training pitch?
Jeff Henderson or Michael Richardson
Who’s your favourite player in the first team to watch?
Coloccini, because he does everything right all the time and gives 100%. He’s an all-round footballer, he can do everything.
What is the most memorable game you’ve played in?
It has to be Wigan at home last year, it felt like I was finally over my injuries and was starting to get some form back in my game.
What is the most memorable game you’ve watched?
It has to be either the 5-1 at home against 5under1and, or Arsenal at home. [Take into account the fact that Folan wrote the “5under1and”, not me]
What player do you model yourself on?
I love watching John Terry, he’s a great leader, he commands the ball at all times, and is a great defender. He reads the game extremely well.
What is the favourite goal you’ve scored?
It was against Sheffield Wednesday at home when it was the academy days. The goal was a bullet header in the top corner. When I scored I went mad as it was my first goal. All the lads found it funny and didn’t celebrate with me.
Who is your favourite ever NUFC player?
Alan Shearer hands down for me. Every time he wore a black and white shirt he wasn’t playing for himself he was playing for the fans and the team.
What are your aims for next season?
To stay fit, get as many games under my belt as possible and maybe get out on loan and do well.
How is your injury getting on? And when are you expecting to be back fully fit?
Yeah I’m getting on great. I had an operation on my cartilage in the back of my knee, as I tore it at the back end of last season. The surgeon has done a great job and I’m probably about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. I’m looking to be back training towards the end of the month, hopefully.
What does being in the academy or reserves entail? (What you do on a day to day basis?)
Obviously every day is different, but it usually entails of coming in for football for 9:00. Start in the gym around 9:00 doing pre-habilitation, core or weights, then we’d usually go out to train around 10:30, till about 12:30, have dinner at around 1:00-ish, then start again outside doing technical work at 2:00.
Stephen is a left sided player who can play in both defence and midfield and joined the club in the summer of 2008. Stephen has played both at youth and reserve team level but since his breakthrough into the reserves he has been plagued with injuries which have limited his appearances. Stephen has also been capped at Under 19 level for Ireland.
Stephen is a converted Newcastle fan, not surprising really. I can imagine it was the Geordie crowd which swayed him, but I may be being biased. Something which I picked up on from his answers was when he mentioned the reserve and first team squad both having great togetherness, that’s very good to hear coming from somebody within the camp.
I also chuckled when I read that Stephen had chosen the 5-1 win against 5under1and as one of his most memorable games, the 5 and 1 in the title of Sunderland was written by Folan and not myself, he sounds like a good lad to me.
Stephen models himself on John Terry and is a big fan of Fabricio Coloccini. They’re not bad players to try and emulate. I’m not a fan of Terry but you can’t deny he’s a good player on the pitch, and Coloccini, well, everyone knows that he’s a quality player. Hopefully Stephen can turn out similar to one of these, no pressure though.
Many thanks to Stephen for participating in this article and I wish him the best of luck with his recovery from injury.
Anybody on Twitter can follow Stephen @StephenFolan « The kids are all right. | The wonderful world of the transfer window. »