Samuel Bone talks to Lee Seng Foo about his link to Malaysia, his football family, and playing Football Manager...
We understand that you were born in Kuching. What do you know or remember about the city or Malaysia?
To be honest, hardly anything. I left the country when I was five after my dad (former Sarawak player William "Billy" Bone) retired from playing football.
Was your brother, Matthew, born in Malaysia too? Does he play football?
No, my brother was born in Nottingham. He is playing in goal for one of the local sides in my area. He is actually a really good goalkeeper and I believe some English sides are looking at him.
Your dad was quite successful during his time in Malaysia and Singapore. Do you ever have the urge to emulate his Asian adventures?
I'm aware of my dad's success and I use that for motivation, but I've never really thought about it.
Do you have any relatives or keep in touch with anyone in Malaysia?
I don’t have any relatives in Malaysia; just a few friends. One is actually playing there now. His name is Cameron Edwards (M-League legend Alistair Edwards’ son) and if I'm not mistaken, he is currently playing for Putrajaya SPA.
Do you follow Malaysian football?
I try my best to do so, but I'm too focused on my games, to be honest. But whenever I have some free time, I like to play Football Manager. I'm currently the manager of Sarawak, which is only because my dad played for them.
Let’s talk about your career. How did you get into football?
I don't actually know [laughs]. I grew up watching my dad play and it just went from there, really. I remember joining a local side, which I believe was called Park Farm Rangers and I scored in my first game. As I got older, I realised I wasn't half-bad and began to take the game much more seriously, do the extra work and dedicate myself to becoming a professional footballer. Now I'm here with Charlton Athletic.
You're listed as a second-year scholar on Charlton Athletic's official website. How's life at the academy?
I'm enjoying my time with Charlton. The people here are great and I'm constantly learning. We have a lot of academy graduates in the first team at the moment, so I think that says it all.
How do you see your career progress in the next few years?
Who knows? But I'm 100% confident that I have a future in football ahead of me.
As a midfielder, how would you describe your playing style?
Well, many people at the club call me Michael Carrick [because of the way I play]. To be compared to him is a very good compliment!
Any football idols?
I look up to my dad a lot, but if I had to choose a player who is still actively playing the game, it would be Lionel Messi. I love to watch him play; the guy is unreal.
Any plan to revisit your country of birth anytime soon?
I think that's something I'll definitely do in the future because my dad has always told me how nice the country is.
How about playing for the Harimau Malaya then?
If there is an opportunity, I will definitely think about it.
(Pictures: Samuel Bone, Scarlet Black Images)