Thursday, April 19, 2012

Generation Next Bailey Wright Interview

Here is an interview I did with Aussie Youngster Bailey Wright who has been getting some game time for Preston North End recently. This first appeared in Goal Weekly.

1) Can you give us some background on yourself like how you got into football, where you played local football in Australia?

I first started playing when I was four--five years old for my club down the road at Langwarrin Soccer Club  which is  based on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.  I played there for a good few years and had my Dad coach me for a few years there before I moved to Mornington for one season. I  then moved to Dandenong Thunder when I was 13 for a season,  then I got selected for the Victorian Institute of Sport  and I was there for 2 years. Before my time there was finished I went back to Langwarrin to play for a half a season before eventually making the move to Preston North End.

2) How did the move to Preston North End come about?

Well I had got a trial with Blackburn Rovers and with Preston just before Christmas 2008, I almost cancelled my trial with Preston due to getting called up to the under 17 the Under 17 National team the Joeys. When I did get to England I did manage to get one training session in with Preston before my trial at Blackburn, for me it wasn’t to be at Blackburn and I was fortunate enough to have  been offered a two year scholarship with Preston. The reason the trials came about was because I didn’t see much of  a future for myself in football in Australia and had talked to my family about quitting football and taking up a trade or to go and work with my Dad which at the time I was already doing. My Dad said to me would you like to give England one last chance before you threw it away?, so I did and now the rest is history, so I owe a lot to my Dad for giving me the chance to come over.

3) What is it like living there and how do you quell the homesickness?

It’s different, especially in the winter time, it took time to adjust training in the ice cold and snowy weather but its like most things in life, you adapt and get used to it. and if I’m being honest, homesickness was never really much of an issue for me, when I came to Preston I lived in what they call a DIGS accommodation and all 19 youth team lads all lived in the one big house, we had Joan and Mick, a married couple look after us and a lady who cleaned whose name was also Joan.

4) How did you get used to the professorial environment in England and what were the differences to level you faced in Australia?

The big different for me was the quality players showed on the ball, the pace of the game is quicker but for me it was how good players were on the ball and how you got punished if you don’t keep the ball and if you make a mistake. Because if you did make a mistake, you would most likely get punished for it because of how good some teams and players are at scoring goals.

5) What do you hope to achieve in your football career?

I would love not only win trophies at the highest level, Uefa Champions League, Premier League, World Cup , for any young lad you always look and think I would love for that to b me and for me I would love to achieve that more than anything else.

6) There are a lot of young players like your good self that are going straight to Europe and by-passing the A-League. Can you tell us if any A-League teams approached you? If not what was the reasoning for you to play in England compared to playing in the A-League?

if I had of been offered something from an A League club than maybe I would of never have gone to the UK, but I was never approached or offered anything from any clubs, and if I am being honest, I’m glad I didn’t because it gave me the opportunity to play over here which is arguably the best set up for football in the world.

7) How do you relax away from football?

Well we don’t get a lot of time off but usually I get my feet up and chill out around the house, I love my films so I like to get to the cinema or watch a film at the house. bit of a boring person really.

8) What kind of person are you? Describe yourself in a few words?

I would say I am a hard working, self motivated and committed person, I like to do my best in everything because I  take pride  in what I do, and how I do things. I would also include my favourite quote in that my Dad told me: “fail to prepare, then prepare to fail” It’s stuck with me ever since.

9) What is a usual week for you? Can you give us an insight into a week as a player for Preston North End on and off the field?

It’s hard to say because it can change so regularly, most days we train in the morning and sometimes we  have a weight session in the afternoon depending when our next game is, sometime you have reserves games Wednesday and first team games Saturday or sometimes the first team play Sat/ Tues so all depends on our games, its hard work but it is the best job in the world.

10) Preston was relegated from the Championship what was that like and does this mean more game time for you this season?

Everyone who plays football will tell you it’s the worst feeling getting relegated, it wasn’t good because the club was forced to make changes, this meant  some staff getting made redundant and some players being sold, we have got a good team now though and have been getting good results, hopefully we can win this league and go straight back into the Championship. I haven’t played in the league yet this season but hopefully I get the chance , the season is still early, I have played in the Carling Cup against Southampton which was a good test for me.

11) Can you give us a brief synopsis of your time in the UK? Like opportunities you have had playing memorable games or experiences that you have had living in the UK that changed you?

I have had a few opportunities I thought I would never get, I’ve played against the Manchester  United, senior team in a behind doors friendly in which we kept a clean sheet when they had Michael Owen and Macheda up front that was an experience just being at the Manchester United training ground. I’ve played in the Carling Cup and in the Championship, which again I never thought I would ever get the chance to do.  I hope to experience one of the best things in football soon and that is hopefully being promoted by winning our league! Being offered my professional contract was also a very big highlight for me.

I would also say that a really good thing about UK is the quality of coaches you have in the UK, I had Dean Ramsdale and Jamie Hoyland coach me as a youth team player who are both top top class coaches who I learnt a lot of and who where the ones that  signed me at Preston, I have also been lucky enough to have David Unsworth as our first team coach who I also have learnt a lot off. He has played at the highest level possible with Everton.

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