to do that and I’m really pleased to have been given such a great opportunity.
You were spotted by Fulham when you were at Maidstone – how did that come about?
It was soon after I’d been selected for the England Schoolboys Under-18 squad. I’d heard a few clubs were watching me, and I went on trial for a week at Middlesbrough before going to train at Fulham for a couple of days. I played in a practice game and straight afterwards Roy Hodgson said that the club would like to sign me.
Had a part of you given up making it at the top level prior to that?
I always hoped I’d get an opportunity and, in a way, I had nothing to lose at that trial because I was all set to go to university if it didn’t work out. I’d done my A-levels and had applied to Loughborough to study Business Management with Economics. It was nice to have the back-up of the uni option, and it’s something I’ll probably pick up later in my career because we have a lot of free time and it would be nice to do the degree.
We’re guessing a typical day as a non-league player is very different to that as a Red…
[Laughs] Yes definitely! When I was at Maidstone I would have got up about 8.30am every day for school. We trained on Tuesdays or Thursdays in preparation for the weekend match and sometimes had a midweek game. I also had a part-time job at a hotel in the evenings so it was a busy time. It’s strange to have gone from that to being a United player and having a lot of free time on my hands because rest is so important. You train intensely for maybe an hour-and-a-half a day, and you’ve also got your gym work. But when you’re not training, much of the time is spent resting.