Ashley Young

Ashley Young: Talentspotter

Manchester United and England winger Ashley Young speaks to FourFourTwo back in 2006, when he was with Watford.

Nicknames
Sometimes the lads call me 'Peahead' but usually it's 'Youngy'.

As a boy I supported...
Arsenal. I only live 20 minutes away on the train so I used to go quite a lot because our Watford games were on Sundays. Ian Wright was my hero. I've been lucky enough to meet him a few times.

International honours
I'm hoping to play for England one day and was on standby for the recent U21 game with Norway, so I'm getting there.

Strengths
I'm good in one-on-one situations against defenders. I have pace, a good brain, and my finishing is usually pretty good as well.

Weaknesses
My left foot and my heading! Since I've been in the first team I've been trying to improve both by working after training.

Heroes
My parents, for being so supportive and taking me to training when I was young, my former youth team coach Chris Cummins and Wrighty, for the way he played.

I play a bit like...
I'd never compare myself to them, but when I'm up front I like to play the Bergkamp role, and when I'm out wide I like to run at people like Henry.

Career highlight
Scoring on my debut against Millwall two years ago. I'd come on as a sub and with them down to 10 men, we found plenty of space and I scored on the stroke of full-time. The game was also shown live on Sky.

Lowlight
Getting sent off at Luton earlier this season. I'd been pushed in the back and while I was on the floor, I was adjudged to have kicked out at one of their players. The gaffer wasn't happy but fortunately we won the game.

Toughest opponent
Joleon Lescott at Wolves, because not only is he a good stopper, he's quick and can play football as well.

Best player played with
Marlon King. He's been fantastic for us this season and whenever we've played up front together we've just clicked. We're similar in stature and we always seem to know what each other is doing and what runs we're making.

Club joker
Kingy hammers the lads if they turn up in dodgy gear and he hangs them up for all to see. When we come in for our warm-down, Jay DeMerit gets it because he usually turns up with paint down his jeans, while Anthony McNamee wears tracksuits that you see on little kids!

School report
It wasn't too bad. I had four or five GCSEs and I think there was a B in there somewhere. Apart from PE my best subject was English. Maybe I'd have been a sports teacher if I didn't play football.

Wheels
I've got a BMW 3 series compact but I have my eye on an X5.

Latest iPod download
The Jagged Edge album. I've also downloaded some Jodeci after seeing them in concert recently.

Chicks
Can I have two? Halle Berry and Beyoncé.

Flicks
Smile Orange from back in the day and I still have the full Mighty Ducks set in my collection. I don't care what people say – they were legendary!

TV programmes
Deal Or No Deal. It's a big favourite of the lads on away trips. Clarke Carlisle answers the most questions. Well, with a head that big, he's bound to have a fair-sized brain!

Most famous person met
David Beckham. Our former coach Terry Burton is a friend of his and they've been to the training ground a few times. David's really down-to-earth.

Tell us something we don't know about you
I was tiny when I was younger. Some people doubted whether I'd make it, but not me and when I was 17 I shot up anyway. Now I'm touching 5ft 10in.

Most embarrassing moment
At Reading last season, I'd just come on, started to go on a mazy dribble and fell flat on my face. It was live on Sky – I got hammered by my mates.

Describe yourself in five words
Happy, easy-going, ambitious, confident, loud.

In five years' time I'll be...
Playing in the Premiership and for England, and hopefully I'll have a few medals.

Interview: Luke Nicoli. From the May 2006 issue of FourFourTwo.


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