Ben Amos will be hoping to earn another rare start against West Ham this evening in the Carling Cup. He’s been talking to us about what it’s like being a young goalkeeper carving out a career at a top club…
How do you stay focused every day when you’re not playing all the time?
There’s only one position and we train a lot, training everyday without playing is difficult, but you’ve just got to keep yourself motivated and make sure you’re ready and available when you’re needed. Every year I set a target, and the next game is always a target for me. They don’t come round too often being the number three keeper, so I’ve just got to make sure I’m ready and I’m peaking when those games come around.
You have to be patient, then…
The patience helps when you know goalkeepers have a longer career; look at Edwin and how he’s still playing now. The temptation is to look around you at players that are 17 and 18 and they’re playing. Kiko Macheda is a year younger than me and he’s involved a lot more at the moment, so the temptation is to get a bit frustrated. But you’ve got to take everything in context and, with the position that I play in, that’s the reason why I’m not playing.
Edwin van der Sar is double your age. He’s old enough to be your dad, but what’s it like training with someone as experienced as he is?
I’ve said a few times that it is a little bit like training with your dad, yeah. I don’t think he’ll appreciate that, but he’s great. I’m chewing at his ear all the time, trying to get bits of advice. He’s very open and he says what he thinks, so it’s great.
Who were your goalkeeping idols growing up?
When I was growing up Schmeichel was playing, so he’s a big icon, a goalkeeping icon. He’s a good role model because of his presence. That was something that really struck home with me, how he was as a person on the pitch. I’d probably say him. I was Man United mad, so I didn’t really look to any other teams or anything, it was just all about United.
You played in the last round at Old Trafford. Was it easier playing in front of a home crowd compared to, say tonight, when you’re at an away ground?
I don’t think about it that way. Any game in the first team is a game in the first team, so that’s how I approach it. Whether it’s Old Trafford or not, it’s not really an issue. The atmosphere is something