Thursday, 23 April 2015

An Interview with ... Lewis Taaffe

You want someone to run all day for you, Lewis Taaffe is the man.  You want someone to hassle the opposition defence all game, Lewis Taaffe is the man. You want someone to pop up with a vital goal for you, Lewis Taaffe is the man.

I spoke with Concord's all energy centre forward to find out about his career, and his aims for the future.

You had a trial at Bristol Rovers last summer, and you called it "your last chance" to make it as a pro player, do you still think that? 

I'd never say it was my last chance but I'm not getting any younger, of course my dream is to still make it as a professional and I'll be doing everything I can to try and get to that level especially next season, so I can get over some niggling injuries I have had this season. One being tendonitis, anyone who has this will know what I mean!! 

Do you think you can achieve your ambitions at Concord? 

I'm very confident I can achieve what I want to achieve in the game with the backing of Danny Cowley and also Nicky Cowley. As you can see this season we have over achieved as a team and hopefully we will finally get some recognition we deserve. On the other hand you never know who is watching and hopefully some of my performances this season may persuade someone in the football league to take a gamble on me. 

You started off at Leyton Orient, how disappointing was it to be released by them? 

When I first got released of course it was heart breaking I spent most of that afternoon crying. It really hit home the first weekend after getting released I had nothing to do, no one to play for and I really didn't know where it would go from there as I had no contacts whatsoever as I'd been there since the age of 7. Luckily I decided in going to do a sports coaching role at Harlow college where I was quickly picked up by an old Orient manager Ian Hart. He was currently the youth team manager at Histon in the day when they were top of the Conference for most of the season and also having a great FA cup run over coming Leeds. I later signed my scholarship there where I had an amazing first year earning myself a contract under Steve Fallon/John Beck. To this day I still don't know why I got one they hated me I was far to small for them haha. 

You're a tenacious player who always chases down lost causes, and never gives the opposing defenders any that your key strength? 

I've always worked hard so you could say it is a key strength, it does put doubt in defenders minds if you got some little rat running around them for 90mins they tend to just kick it off which in most situations, which I'm quite pleased about. I do feel I bring a bit more then just a work horse up top with contributing to a few goals and assist this season which hopefully I can possibly nick the golden boot of Steve Cawley but we'll have to wait and see! 

I'm always interested in how many goals players scored in the junior leagues growing up, I even managed to score 50 in one season!! What was your best season as a teenager? 

When I was younger I started out as a striker but never kept count if I'm honest I was just enjoying playing if I'm honest, I played most of my teenage career in centre midfield. I would always score on a regular basis from that position however there was one season where I scored about 48 for the Histon youth team and I won the golden boot at u18's. Ive even got the trophy to prove it!! 

Can you hear your Dad on the touchline when you play? Has he always watched you, wherever you've played? 

I can hear him now and then, most of the time I'm in the zone and tend to block everything out but apparently he is quite the comedian and always has good words to say about me to the rest of the fans there NOT! He's been there pretty much the whole way taking me up and down the country. He never use to say a word until I joined Concord, however there was one time when i was about 17/18 I'd just broken in Histon's first team and I was playing against the biggest centre you could imagine. We got a early corner and the CB pulled my hair quite hard anyway that was it my dad lost the plot and I could hear him all game telling how he was going to see him at the end of the game, it got to the 89th minute and I saw him running out the ground...haha!

What was it like working in Tesco's, I worked there once for 6 weeks, and bloody hated it!! Any amusing stories from working in there?

I was there for a good 6 years, however I did get the sack from Tescos about 6 weeks into my role. When applying I put down all the hours I had left of my day as I was still doing college and football, when hearing back I got the job I had to go in and go over my contract and I got given pretty much a full time contract, which I couldn't keep up with so I wasn't turning up for work, in the end I got the sack. Thats when my mum drove me straight back and I ended up getting a better contract and was there for the 6 years. I finally managed to quit at the start of the season as I was doing 7 days a week i just couldn't keep up with that. 

Who is your favourite comedian? 

My favourite has to be Jason Byrne, He's an Irish comedian and I remember watching one of his sketches at about 3am trying not to laugh the house down and wake everyone up. I don't know if many people have come across him but i would certainly recommend watching him! 

Out of all the squad who is the unfunniest, who cracks the gags, but fails miserably?!! 

This is a tough one but I'm going to go with Gary Ogilvie he does try to be funny on most occasions but I know he will beat hurting inside if he reads this. However he is a really nice fella. 

What is the best goal you've ever me through it. 

It was my first senior goal and I was playing against Nuneaton away, we had just gone 1 - 0 down and they was on the attack again until we turned the ball over and started to break down their left. As we crossed the ball in I was still trying to get to grips with the tempo of the game and was still trying to join the attack, their centre half managed to clear with his head only for me to hit his clearance on the volley from about 25 yards out bar and in. Obviously I went mental!... but we ended up losing the game 3 - 2. 

I see your girlfriend is running the London marathon, you didn't think about joining her doing it? Would you like to do it some day? 

I don't think I'd ever want to do it. The thought of running 26miles just doesn't appeal to me. I think its fantastic that she is doing it, as its all for a great cause, but I get bored going on a 5mile run let along doing that 5 times over and more.  I'm more of a sprinter then a runner. 

Who are your favourite current players, and who did you love watching as a kid? 

My favourite at the moment has to be Sanchez for Arsenal, The way he plays is what I aspire to be, the amount of work he gets through with the quality of his play on top is sensational. When I was growing up I always want to be Michael Owen, I had the Umbro boots. I was as small and as quick as him, well it felt like and I always used to try and re-enact his goal against Argentina in 1998. 

What did winning the Essex Senior Cup final mean to you?

It meant a lot after the season we had. We set one of our goals to retain the ESC and to do so after the teams we had to beat is a fantastic achievement in itself. We beat a very strong Dagenham team and being 3 - 1 down at home to Colchester to win on penalties just sums up the out character as a team. I wasn't allowed to play last year as I joined to late so it was good to play a part and score too!

Any plans for the summer, going away on holiday etc?

I've hot a summer holiday booked this year going to Dubai for 2 weeks with the girlfriend. Never been so quite looking forward to that. Also going to Spain for a long weekend be good to get away as my legs are gone now for this season haha!

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