Kello Rovers Liam Fleming Q&A

Q&A with Kello Rovers striker Liam Fleming………………….

Liam Fleming

Can you think back to your very first football memory? I didn’t like football when I was really young but when my parents got Sky TV in the mid 90’s I started watching it and loved Keegan’s Newcastle team. I remember being on my first holiday when the they thrashed Man Utd 5-0 and the then Newcastle Chairman stated, “we watched the champions perform today”. He was right, as we all know Newcastle blew a 12 point lead and Man U won the league ‘with kids’.

Best match you’ve been to and best moment as a fan? While it’s hard to ignore Kilmarnock v Aberdeen but I have to go for Real Madrid v Getafe. The match itself was a bit shit but seeing the Galacticos in full flow was something else, Carlos and Zidane were particularly impressive, they seemed to communicate telepathically. Add to that Becks (who got sent-off), Figo, Raul and Fat Ronaldo. It finished in a disappointing 1-0 win for Madrid who didn’t click as a team despite touches of brilliance from the aforementioned players, the manager was sacked the next day. As a fan I’d have to say Newcastle’s comeback in the 02/03 Champions League group stage away to Feyenoord to be the first team to lose the first 3 group games yet still progress. Was epic!

Worst moment as a fan? Newcastle’s first relegation from the Premier League, last season wasn’t as bad since we kept Rafa and the first time kinda got me used it.

Favourite all time player and reasons why? Probably Zidane as even though he never played with a team I support he’s the coolest customer out there and the best player of the generation when I was growing up, his goal at Hampden, the way he carried France through to the 2006 World Cup Final and his headbutt… No one liked Materazzi anyway and we’d have all wanted to do it. He did, and still took player of the tournament.

Which youth sides did you play for as a youngster? Kello, Lugar, Gretna & Queen of the South

How did you get into junior football and what are your thoughts on the experience so far? Kello is one of my local teams and I had a decent season in Southern Counties the season before I got asked to go junior. It’s very competitive and physical, I think if you have a good team spirit and work hard for each other you’ll do ok.

What has been your favourite ground to visit/play at and why? Again, tough to answer but I’m going to go with New Douglas Park. It was in the U19 BP Youth Cup and our team was a bunch of local boys who we not playing pro youth put together by Dalbeattie Star. We put out two pro-youth sides including Dunfermline (SPL side at the time) on their own park then got hammered at Hamilton. Even though the result didn’t go our way we did great getting there. A young James McCarthy missed a penalty (he tried a Panenka and our goalie caught it), got subbed and threw a tantrum. All the while he was being scouted by a host of top European clubs.

Best player you’ve played alongside and against? Played alongside probably Davie Nicolson and played against probably McCarthy.

Are you in favour of the league pyramid? Why? Yes. It’s a good incentive for footballers who haven’t ‘made it’ yet.

Your thoughts on junior sides playing in the Scottish Cup? I think it’s great. You get to see teams like Auchinleck give Hearts a run for their money. Entertainment is what it’s all about is it not?

Are there any rule changes that you’d like to see introduced to the game? Sin bin’s for dissent would be good as you watch a rugby game and see how they conduct themselves then it comes to football and it’s embarrassing. Don’t get me wrong, anyone can lose the rag a bit, especially when you care but I think there’s too much of it and something like a sin bin might make it easier for referees to deal with.

Traditional grass pitches or artificial surfaces? Why? Grass assuming it’s in good condition.

Funniest thing that you’ve seen in a football match? I didn’t actually see it but one of our players at the time was getting a hard time from opposition fans so he decided to show them the helicopter!

Who has been the biggest influence on your football career? My Dad, took me wherever I needed to go for training, games or trials.

Best manager or coach you’ve worked alongside? After this season I’m sure it will be Ross and John 😉 but I have to say Paul McGinley. He was manager of our Dalbeattie team when we were knocking out pro-youth sides in the U19 Cup. His training was meticulous and he scouted every opponent meaning his tactics and instructions were very specific and detailed, he was very professional.

Your ambitions for the club and as an individual? Ultimately the club is looking for promotion in the near future and to stay up and build again from there. For me it’s to get fit as I’m struggling a bit with a knee injury then once the season starts nail down a place up top, play well, score and contribute to a successful hopefully promotion pushing team.

Are you any good at any other sports? I’m a PE teacher and I’ve always been not bad at transferring skills, I’m quite athletic and my high jump is pretty good.

Proudest moment in football? Managing my S1 team to the final of the Scottish Shield, was a great achievement for a small school.

What is your pre match routine and meal? I usually forget to clean my boots before it gets to match day so I do that and have some cereal before the game as I don’t like to eat too much beforehand.

Any interests outside of football? I go to the gym back and forth, I’ve been watching World War 1 & 2 documentaries recently and reading about them… Weird I know. I’ve dabbled in stand-up and am looking to do more of that so I’m checking out some places that have comedy nights just now.

What is the day job? I’ve just left teaching to go into business. I worked for a company between teaching jobs giving talks in schools and it’s something I’m pursuing now self-employed whilst also making a goal setting app.

Favourite all time movie and current favourite? This changes depending what pops into head at the time. All time I’ll say Coach Carter as I love the messages it conveys, current I’ll say Star Wars as I only really got into it when The Force Awakens was about to come out and I’m eagerly anticipating the next one.

Do you read and if so what do you read? I do. Random historical stuff that pops into my head and I want to find out more about and more structured reading would be related to the types of talks I give, so books about personal development in some way. I’ve just finished ‘Legacy’ which is life and business lessons we can learn from the most successful sports team in history, the All Blacks.

What type of food do you enjoy eating? Pizza. Burgers. Fried chicken. And anything with cheese usually.

Any words of wisdom for youngsters getting into football? Enjoy it!

Read all about Liam’s adventures on his blog http://itsmeliamf.tumblr.com/

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