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09/04/2013 09:00, Report by Nick Coppack
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Rooney's five-a-side debt

later but 95 per cent of my game is from those days playing as a kid.

When you scored your famous goal for Everton against Arsenal in 2002 you were only a teenager and went home and had a kick-about with your mates. Do you remember much about that game back home?
Yes, we went and played in the garages nearby.  We just practised our finishing all night. No one treated me any differently. A few congratulated me about the goal but otherwise no one really made a fuss.

Do you still get the temptation to get out and have a kick-about?
It’s harder now because at United we have so many games and rest is so important. I wouldn’t want to get injured either. I go in my garden as I have a five-a-side-pitch there and I take my son down and try and show him a few tricks.

How big a part do five-a-sides play at Manchester United?
We do a bit at the end of every session and it is the best bit of training. It’s not for long but it’s what we look forward to most. Having said that, it is really important. You get to express yourself, I get to try and score goals and, as I said before, you work on tight situations and how you’d get out of them.

What are your top five tips for playing small-sided football?
First of all, awareness. It is so tight and you need to know where defenders and team-mates are. Next is vision. Again, it is very tight and you must work on seeing the spaces available. Technique is vital so your passing and shooting can be spot-on. Strength will also help you, as you need to hold players off. Finally, finishing. All good teams need a good finisher and with small goals you’ll need to be at the top of your game. Just keep trying. There’s no pressure. These are the games when you can try new tricks without being judged.

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