SOUTHAMPTON legend Matt Le Tissier was delighted to welcome to his Natural Coaching Academy their first player from the Isle of Wight – Will Hall – to become part of the #MLTNCFamily.
And Will was delighted to spend time with his hero and ask him a few questions. Here’s how the interview went, starting with a few questions about Le God’s new career as a Sky TV pundit…
WILL: Do you recommend studying anything particular to help with a career in sports journalism or commentating?
MATT: I think these days there are formal qualifications you can do and certainly a degree in sports journalism would be one route I would recommend.
WILL: Is it hard preparing for matches to commentate on?
MATT: If you love sport, not just football, it is actually quite easy to do. Even before I played football I watched loads of football games and on the telly like Match of the Day. I knew all the players, and still do now. The hardest part is the influx of new players from overseas that I have never heard of. I watch You Tube clips of course to study them but they can be misleading as often only the best clips are on there.
There is no substitute for watching a player play live therefore in any league. The other main thing is to get stats about players to fill in during a game. The top commentators always know lots of stats and anecdotes about players so that during breaks in a game, they just fill in with these.
WILL: What did it feel like when the crowd chanted your name?
MATT: Oh, it’s an amazing feeling. I remember as a 17-year-old being on the subs bench and the crowd chanting my name, trying to get the manager to send me on! When they cheer you it is a great feeling.
WILL: Who was your inspiration?
MATT: Glenn Hoddle was my inspiration as a young lad growing up. What he could do with a football was incredible and I wanted to be like him. So I worked hard at my game to try and do what he could do.
WILL: What was it like playing for England?
MATT: Playing for England was why I played football. It was fantastic to play for your country. The first game I played, I think I was sub, my parents were in the stand watching me. After the game I didn’t swap shirts or anything and I went up to the lounge and gave them my first shirt. I knew how much it meant to them and what it meant to me having wanted to play for England all my life. I’m still emotional now thinking of that moment.
WILL: Did you ever consider moving club?
MATT: Yes. I nearly joined Spurs at 21 but didn’t.. Other clubs wanted to sign me, especially Chelsea when Matthew Harding was there with Ken Bates poor man. Matthew really wanted me and Glenn Hoddle was the manager at the time which was an obvious draw. But I stayed at Southampton. Matthew did come up to me once and ask me to sign a Panini sticker of myself for him but that’s as close as I got to signing for Chelsea!
WILL: Who was the hardest opposition you came up against in your career?
MATT: Without a doubt Des Walker who played for Nottingham Forest. He was very very quick and a great defender.
WILL: What was your favourite goal for Southampton?
MATT: Scoring against Blackburn rovers in 1994 will always stand out for me as my favourite goal. It was a very special goal. My friend was in goal for Blackburn too!