“I’m a semi-pro footballer who has been sent out on loan – what can I do in order to make an instant first impression in the dressing room?”
Lee Heywood, via Facebook
Massimo Luongo says:
“Your new team-mates may view you differently at first, because they know you could be off again at any given moment.
You’ll have to show them you’re dedicated to the cause. Once you gain respect on the pitch, people will open up to you more off it.
Respect is important, but you have to earn it. Don’t be cocky or arrogant, especially if you’re new to the club – lads who are showy come and go pretty quickly.
Personally, I like to go in and keep a low profile at first; I’ll stay off the radar until I’m settled in a little more. How quickly you are able to integrate at a new club sometimes depends on the location. At QPR, it took a bit of time to get to know all of the players as they lived all over London, so everyone was off doing their own thing. At Swindon Town, everybody lived close together, so we were almost forced to get along with each other – and that served us well in the long term.
Arguably the most important thing, particularly if you’re dropping down a league, is to stay humble. You never know when you’ll work with the same players or coaches again, so keep them onside.”