Defender on a big season ahead
Earlier this week, Tom Heslop caught up with Academy defender Brandon Ball who gave us his thoughts on the Under-18s start to the season…
The side have suffered a fairly inconsistent start to the season, what are your thoughts on why this is happening?
“I feel like we have a really good team this season but unfortunately the results just haven’t gone our way. It feels like we are a bit more together as a team than we were last season which is a positive to take.
“Sometimes last season we would have divided into two separate groups like first years and second years but this year everyone is getting on really well and that is good for the team.”
Do you think that togetherness is something that will help the side improve over the course of the season?
“I think we will continue to improve as a team. Sometimes we may have little arguments but that happens in football and we always work through them as a team so hopefully we will improve as the season goes on.”
As a defender, is it disappointing that you haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet so far this season?
“Of course it is disappointing. Obviously as a defender you want to do well for your team.
“As a striker you want to score goals but as a defender you want to keep clean sheets, so the fact that we haven’t managed to keep one so far this season is disappointing for myself and the team.
”What do you think you can improve on yourself to try and help the team keep more clean sheets?
“I have got to be strong, as has the defensive side of the team. We have got to continue growing as a unit in order for us to get better as the season goes on.”
It is clear to see that there isn’t really a problem scoring goals, do you have faith that the team can turn it around defensively?
“I feel like every single defender who is part of that team is good enough which means we should pick up as the season goes on.”
As a defensive unit, is there things you do as a group to try and make your bonds even stronger?
“We have a got a couple of things planned over the duration of the season.
“I have been told that we will be going camping as a team and do a sort of army training camp so I think that will help us grow as a team.
“I think we have bonded well as a team this season but of course, those sort of trips out will always help us get stronger.”
This year is a big one for yourself, do you have every faith that you can achieve that professional contract?
“Yes otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I have just got to keep doing what I am doing, I need to keep my attitude up and stay focused on what I am doing.
“I need to continue doing well in both training and during matches and then hopefully I will be rewarded at the end of the year.”
Have the management team given you any advice for the year as to what you can do to secure that pro contract?
“They have said that I need to keep being the full back that I am. I get told quite a lot that one of my strong points is going forward which is always nice to hear.
“I am getting better at one-on-one situations as that is something that we are working on every week so I think I can do it.”
Do you think as a full back it is part of your job to go forward and create for the team?
“I think that is something that I should be doing for the team and I think that that is something I offer and I don’t think that it is a thing I would take out of my game, in fact I would like to strengthen it.”
Finally, what are you ambitions for the year?
“I would love to earn that professional contract, that is the main aim for me this year but if I could get a game for the under 23’s as well then that would be a nice added bonus.”