Tom King Interview

Tom King Interview

Being a goalkeeper isn’t the most desired position as a youngster but to some saving shots is just as good as scoring world class goals and despite the challenges they face and intense scrutiny they can so easily be under, ultimately the goalkeeper is the heart of the team. We caught up with the man between the sticks at Millwall to find out what life is like as a keeper...

Firstly, introduce yourself!

Hello, my name is Tom king and I’m a goalkeeper at Millwall Football Club.

How did you get into football?

Being almost a foot taller than everyone else, growing up, the position almost chose me! But it was a friend of mine, in primary school, his Dad ran a saturday team and asked if I fancied having a go in goal and I’ve never looked back since!

Who inspired you growing up?

From a young age, I’ve always been a huge fan of Gianluigi Buffon, although the chance to see him play was rare. I always loved watching him and for him to still be performing at the highest level now is incredible! More recently the position of goalkeeper has changed and goalkeepers like Manuel Neuer and Hugo Lloris are really evolving the position all together, which is something I like to take bits from into my own game!

How would you say your surroundings affected you, growing up, as a person but also as a footballer?

Having strong support at home was a massive factor. My Mum and Dad sacrificed everything to make sure I could make it to training on time and always kept me in the best gear! That helped me on the pitch, to have that belief in me from such a young age. Off the pitch surrounding yourself with the right people, who want to help you succeed, is vital.

When did you first get noticed and start to believe that football could be a career for you?

I always loved being in goal and diving about but never really considered it as a long term option until I got called up for the England U16 training camp. This was a massive turning point for me, when I started to realize my own potential. From that point on my confidence grew as I really started putting big focus on my life off the pitch.

What steps were made and where has football taken you so far in your career?

Well after going to the training camp it was a massive eye opener for me and that’s when I really started to focus and take my life off the pitch more seriously. For example, eating and sleeping right and luckily getting these things right, football has taken me to some really unbelievable places and has given me experiences I will never forget!

Most memorable moment in your football career, so far?

Has to be my professional debut for Millwall after having overcome so many hurdles in my short career, so far. To have that chance to play was really unbelievable for me and hopefully there is many more to come!

Who would you say helped you the most in your career and what's the best piece of advice you've been given?

A friend of mine once told me “Success comes to those who are too busy to look for it.” - This really stuck with me because sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the moment but if you keep your head down and are focused in what you do every day the success will come along with it.

Did you always play in the sticks?

I had the occasional run out as a centre forward, for my school team, in the early days but evidently it wasn’t too successful so I stuck to keeping them out rather than trying to put them in.

Strongest attribute and how do you push yourself day to day?

I think shot stopping is vital for any keeper, to have as a good attribute because when it comes to it that’s our main job. As I mentioned earlier the game is developing for keepers all the time and keepers now have to be more confident with their feet and I think this is something I’ve really adapted well to. Training now is obviously much different to when I was a kid. Consistency is a massive factor for a keeper, as you have to maintain a standard and level of performance each day to keep yourself ready to play when needed. Gym work is also massively important. Feeling strong and confident you're in the best physical shape is a massive mental factor when it comes to game day.

Any superstitions?

Everything on my left side has to go on first and I won’t wear anything in the game that I wear in the warm up… Strange but I do it now without thinking!

What were your first thoughts when trying on Concave boots?

Really like nothing I’ve worn in the past! The technology and the fit is really incomparable with other brands making boots today. The styling also is very unique and it’s something that attracted me to the brand.

Do you feel the technology works?

I’m currently wearing the Halo+ and for a goalkeeper with the amount of long distance striking we have to do and to be consistent with, on a regular basis, it’s important that you trust what’s on your feet and with the Halo+ I certainly feel that’s the case. For sure it makes a difference. Well for me I’ve certainly noticed a difference since wearing the boot!

What do you get up to outside of football?

May come as a bit of a surprise but I’m currently trying to learn Spanish! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while and finally stopped procrastinating and got myself some apps and books.

When is comes to music and TV, what do you listen to? What series are you watching on Netflix and what's your favourite film?

My music choice has such a wide variety. Shuffle on my phone could produce Boyz II Men, then Oasis, then Drake... It makes me laugh sometimes but it’s just a reflection of the upbringing I had. I’m currently hooked on The Walking Dead so if I’m not learning Spanish I’m watching that. I recently watched “The Theory Of Everything” which is a film about the life of Stephen Hawking, which was a huge eye opener, how he persevered with his condition.

Future goals?

To establish myself as the number one at my current club has to be the target for the near future but for every kid growing up playing football your ultimate goal is to represent your country in a major tournament so hopefully with hard work and dedication I will have the chance to do that!

Finally, what tips would you give to any young aspiring footballers?

Always give 100% and play every game as if it’s your last. No regrets!

Writen by Concave @ 02/03/2017 23:46

  • Tom King
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