Lewin Nyatanga

Lewin Nyatanga: Talentspotter

Barnsley and Wales defender Lewin Nyatanga, formerly of Bristol City, talks to FourFourTwo back in 2006.

Nickname
I get called shortened versions of my name, but the younger lads call me 'Screech' from Saved By The Bell because I used to have the same hairstyle as him.

Team supported
I've always been a Derby County fan and Chris Powell was my favourite player – I had his name on my shirt. One of my earliest memories was standing behind the goal at the Baseball Ground when Robin van der Laan scored against Crystal Palace in 1996, which clinched our Premiership place.

Strengths
My reading of the game and my passing, at the moment.

Weaknesses
I want to get quicker and be more agile. I'd also like to be stronger but that will come with playing more games.

Heroes
Chris Powell was my favourite Derby player, but I never had heroes as a kid. I respect anyone who's played top-flight football.

Highlight
Winning my first Wales cap against Paraguay in March, while becoming the country's youngest international. It was a great experience and the likes of Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy were fantastic. The Millennium Stadium seems a lot bigger when you're on the pitch. Making my Derby debut against Grimsby in the Carling Cup in August was also special.

Lowlight
Whether it's having a poor game, suffering injuries or being overlooked by a manager, there are always low points. But it's always how you react to them that's important.

Honours
Aside from my full cap, I've played for Wales from under-15 level upwards. While I was born in England, as soon as Wales picked me as a schoolboy there was only going to be one choice.

Best player played with
Ryan Giggs. I'm not in awe of him but you have to admire his achievements and the way he's played consistently well at the highest level.

Toughest opponent
Carlton Cole. I marked him in an under-21 game against England and facing someone of his calibre was a big step-up. We lost 4-0 but I'd do better now.

Biggest joker
Paul Thirwell and Seth Johnson are at the heart of the banter and have been known to cut up people's clothes! Lee Holmes always gets it for his tight jeans.

School report
I got seven or eight GCSEs but scraped Cs in most. I could have done better if I wasn't so concentrated on my football.

Wheels
I only passed my test in December and I've bought a Vauxhall Corsa. I've got my eyes on an Audi A3 for the next one.

Last iPod download
Suicidal Thoughts by Notorious BIG. Not the happiest title, but it's a great tune.

Chicks
Beyoncé or Jennifer Lopez. I can't decide.

Flicks
Fight Club and Gladiator are my favourites but I saw the Tom Cruise film Collateral recently, which was quite good.

TV Programmes
My Wife And Kids and Peep Show. They're hilarious.

Tell us something we don't know
I'm taking an A Level in psychology with a view to taking a degree. I'd like to move into sports psychology when I've finished playing.

Most embarrassing moment
I played a reserve game against Burton and having come on as a sub, I was back off within 20 minutes to go to the toilet. I couldn't hold it in. It shocked the coaches!

Describe yourself in five words
Level-headed, quietly confident, laid-back, mature, ambitious.

In five years I'll be...
Hopefully playing in the Premiership, ideally with Derby, and a Wales regular.

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


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