Cameron Stewart Interview

Cameron Stewart Interview

Since featuring in our campaign video and officially joining the Concave team, Cameron Stewart has been banging in goals left, right and centre for Doncaster Rovers. We caught up with him to discuss his career from start to present, his unreal free-kick ability and what it’s like growing up in the city of Manchester, with a football at your feet...

What are your memories growing up playing football?

My main memory, was as a young lad my Dad took me down to a local team called Fletcher Moss. I started off there really and I made a lot of friends, some of whom I’m still friends with now and some of them still play today. I was quite fortunate really because we had a strong team, which did attract a lot of attention.

What age did you start playing there?

I think I went down there when I was like 6 or 7, I would say. At the start I played with the older kids, as it started at age 8. At that age you just play because it’s enjoyable. My Dad took me down and I had fun. It was something that I liked doing.

How did you find playing in older age groups?

I’m not sure you know because even if I look back now, I don’t really remember playing with the older kids, I just have a memory of the proper team starting at 8 so my Dad would just take me down to training and everyone got together, paid their little 2 quid and kicked on really. It wasn’t until I was 8 or 9 that we went to little tournaments, in Droylsden and Failsworth, places like that. There was a load of teams there and that’s when we had games. That’s when I remember playing against opposition and wanting to win.

At what moment did you think football could be a career for you?

Well, there was one or two other kids that started signing for teams, in the local area, like Manchester City, Manchester United obviously, aswell as other local teams like Stockport and I thought I’d like to do that too. I think I did go down to City when I was really young and my Dad thought it was probably best for me to stay at Fletcher Moss and enjoy it and my time would come kind of thing...

Do you feel that helped you?

I do feel it helped me yeah. There was a stage where I did start to think maybe I shouldn’t have done that because it wasn’t until I was around 12 when I did officially go to a team in the end. So a part of me did think I wish I’d of stuck with it but it all worked out in a way!

Talk to us about joining Utd...

Well, I did actually go on trial at Stockport, literally a couple of months before I went to Man Utd. Funnily enough they basically told me in a nutshell that it wasn’t gonna happen. Not in the words of you’re not good enough but like it ain’t gonna happen here lad. I never really played a game for them or anything. I just went down there, training. I spent a long time there training and it was getting frustrating and eventually they turned round to me and told me that. Then a few months later I went to Utd! Obviously at that point, I’m thinking if I can’t get into Stockport, where do I go from here but I stuck with it and obviously I went to high school, started playing for the team and enjoyed myself. There was no crazy pressure from my Dad or anything like that. It was always quite enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, he’s probably my biggest critic now but as a kid he was always encouraging and positive and just sort of said what will be will be.

What position did you start playing in initially?

As a young boy, I only ever played as a striker. One of my biggest memories was that I was getting a lot of chances in games but not scoring as many as I should've and I remember one weekend, my Dad went to the store and got two coke cans. This is a true story no lie. So he got two coke cans, put them each corner of the net and said whenever you get a chance, you hit the coke cans. Funny enough, that weekend I scored 6!

What was it like growing up in Manchester?

If you ask anyone, I was a boy that went everywhere with a football. My Mum lived quite close to my Nana and obviously my Mum works full time and I used to spend a lot of time at my Nana’s so literally that walk from my Mum’s to my Nana’s was always with a ball and my primary school was round the corner too so that walk was with a ball aswell! I was always in touch with a football. I’d take it everywhere. I’ve probably smashed windows, broke fences, wrecked people’s bushes but it’s all part and parcel of being a kid really.

How did you develop your skills?

I think the skills are natural to some people and you’re either quite skillful or you’re not. Things do develop it like being on a school yard when you’ve got 20 kids trying to chase one ball… And I didn’t wanna lose that ball! So you better be quick with your feet! It was one of them where I always wanted to take people on, I always wanted to be the kid that had the best skills and could take everyone on and score. That was just the way I was.

Did any players inspire you to play this way?

Yeah, as a really young boy, I was fascinated by the original Ronaldo and Rivaldo. Everything was Ronaldo, everything was Rivaldo. They were the two people that always fascinated me as a kid. That’s who I wanted to be and who I always wanted to watch. I mean as I got a little bit older and being a Utd fan, Andy Cole was scoring goals but he wasn’t someone who was fascinating me. He was an idol but not someone who fascinated me the same way the others did.

Cameron Stewart
I don’t have a million opportunities to score goals so as soon as a free-kick is given, I’m over there and I’m saying listen, this is my time.

What’s training like as a professional footballer?

Now that you get a little bit older, a lot of training is very tactical and the manager will set up loads of scenarios so you don’t get as many opportunities to get those one on ones or those moments but every now and again, maybe two times a week, we’ll play small sided games and that’s when my eyes light up! Not saying the tactics aren’t important, because they are and I know that. The role of your job is important but once these small sided games open up and it’s 5 versus 5, that is me! That is my favourite time of the day. It’s time to get one on one, take people on and shoot!

We know you’re mates with Danny Welbeck, do you ever get chance to kick ball with him in the summer?

To be honest, my summer is my holiday. I like to let my hair down and enjoy myself. But I’m fortunate in football if I’m honest. Some of the lads at Fletcher Moss made it to be professional footballers aswell as myself and they’re also my best friends too. So in the summer I do spend time with them but I spend time with them on a weekly basis so I am quite fortunate!

Who else from Fletcher Moss made it to a professional standard then?

Kyle Bartley, who’s at Swansea, obviously Danny Welbeck and Reece Brown, who’s at Bury. The three of us were at Man Utd and at Fletcher Moss too.

Is Fletcher Moss still about then?

Don’t quote me on it but I’m sure that’s where Marcus Rashford has come from, which is probably one of the more recent ones but over the years I think Fletcher Moss have turned out quite a lot of professionals really. I remember as a younger, we used to go back and do presentations there and Wes Brown came from there so I remember being at Fletcher Moss and Wes coming down and doing a presentation and handing out trophies for us.

What initially made you want to join Concave?

I didn’t know a lot about the boots to be honest but a close relative started working for the brand, that I used to spend a lot of time with and he got me into the technology of it. The first set of boots I tried out were whilst I was at Utd and I wore them for a bit but as the technology has developed, I’ve got back into them this year and to be honest, I’m really enjoying wearing the new boots.

What’s the secret behind your free-kicks?

Over the years I’ve always known that I have been good at set pieces. More often than not, I’ve gone into sides that have designated set piece takers. Now that was always a challenge for me, to be the bigger boy and be like listen I’m gonna take this. It’s not a thing that I’ve always done. Probably only now that I’ve come to Doncaster, I don’t have a million opportunities to score goals so as soon as a free-kick is given, I’m over there and I’m saying listen, this is my time. Then once you start knocking one or two in, who’s going to question you?

So what music gets you hyped up on a matchday?

I’m quite easy on a matchday. I don’t tend to overthink things. I don’t put too much pressure on myself. We do have a DJ who takes control of things and I just leave them to it. Everyone has their personal preferences, no matter what changing room you’re in. If somebody puts a tune on, there’s always going to be one person who’s not going to like it and that’s part and parcel of the banter in the dressing room. I just let them get on with it, do what I’m doing and focus on myself. However, in my own time, I like a total mixture of things. More often than not I like relaxed hip hop and R&B though. I don’t like anything too heavy, too metal, I like chilled music. I enjoy a bit of Trey Songz, Drake and when I was younger I was into a bit of Usher so it’s one of them ones. I’m a smooth R&B kind of guy.

To wrap things up, do you have any tips to young aspiring footballers?

The main thing to anyone who’s aspiring to be a footballer is to always try and enjoy it. You can be given all the advice in the world and everybody can coach you this and that but the day you stop enjoying it, it’s never the same. Enjoy it like the day you was with your mates, when you were probably 10 years old, kicking it round on the park or on the streets because that’s the main thing you can do, play with a smile on your face. Then one thing when you do enjoy it, other things come easier and other people feel that warmth from you and see it when you play.

Writen by Concave @ 19/04/2016 03:24

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