Signing Sam Allardyce certainly caught the eye for Oxford United yesterday, although the player in question was Sam Allardyce junior; grandson of the former England Manager.
It was an obvious first question to ask the 18-year-old former Man United youth team player who joined the U’s after completing his scholarship at Bury…
“Who my grandad is doesn’t matter too much” he told iFollow. “If you are good enough you are good enough. Yes, people will know the name but so long as I play my own game and do as best I can then that’s fine.”
Sam does follow in a family tradition though; his grandfather and his dad, Craig, were both central defenders in their playing days:
“It’s in our blood” he laughs. “I’m an out and out defender. That’s how I’ve grown up and I love defending properly; heading the ball, making tackles: I was bred to be that I suppose and it’s my favourite part of the game. I can play out from the back but defending is my main priority.
“I joined Man United when I was in the under 9s and spent seven years there but then wasn’t taken on as a scholar at 16. I went to Bury and really enjoyed my time there and think I developed as a player and as a man. It helped me with my confidence but it just wasn’t to be and so this season I get a chance to prove what I can do.
“I have always believed in my own ability and love proving people wrong. Every game I play I play my best and try my hardest and hopefully people will see that.”
Moving away from his family and friends represents a new challenge for the likeable youngster, but there is also a determination to make the most of his chance with the U’s.
“I’m absolutely delighted to join Oxford” he said. “It’s the next step in my career, having spent two good years at Bury. I’m just happy to progress and earn my first pro contract. It’s a big move and a long way from home but it’s what you have to do if you want to have a career in football.
“My target is to continue to develop and keep progressing and see how far I can go, and how far Oxford can go as well.”
See the full interview in iFollow.