Nathan Dyer: Talentspotter

5/1/1988, Trowbridge


Apart from the gaffer calling me ‘Wee Man’, ‘Nath’ is about as imaginative as it gets.

Club supported as a boy
I grew up in Trowbridge but I always supported Manchester United as a kid – I think it was because my mum used to fancy one of the players.

I love running at players, although the more I play the more disciplined I’m becoming. Still, whenever I pick the ball up, get my head up and there’s space in front of me I’m off. I’m not the biggest lad but I’d also like to think I look after myself on the pitch – obviously you come up against some bruisers in this league but I can take the rough stuff.

I need to work on retaining possession. Since having a decent run in the team I think I’ve definitely improved. If you ask the boss he would also say that I need to track back a bit more.

I play a bit like
I’m similar to Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips – we all like getting the ball out wide and running at full-backs. I’ve met Shaun a few times when he has come to see Bradley play and he’s a top bloke.

Scoring my first league goal against Watford was special. George Burley switched me to the left and I exchanged passes with Bradley WP and then bent it round the keeper into the corner. I didn’t know what to do with myself; I should probably have stayed cool like Thierry Henry, but I went berserk and ran off like a madman. Next time I’ll be better prepared!

Probably all of last season. I was in and out of the side and, with my contract up at the end of this season, just wanted to get on with playing. The manager told me he was looking to get me out on loan at the start of this season but I stuck to my guns and told him that I wanted to stay and fight for my place. Now he’s given me my chance I’m glad I did.

Toughest opponent
Probably the whole Reading team when we played them in the Championship. They were just so strong and disciplined. Steve Sidwell was different class.  

Best player played with
Theo Walcott was different class when he was at Saints. Gareth Bale was superb last season and Peter Crouch was exceptional here too – his feet are silly for a big man.

Biggest influence
My mum and dad have always been there to pick me up when things haven’t been going great. Without them I would have struggled to keep my head up and come back this season. They still travel down and watch me play at home and away and it’s great to know they’re in the stands supporting me.

Biggest joker at the club
Darren Powell is full of it; he’s a bit lively. Gareth Bale was always up for laugh when he was here too.

Latest car
Audi A4 Cabriolet.

Rush Hour 3 was the last thing I saw. Chris Tucker is hysterical.  

Meagan Good, she’s tremendous, I would do anything for her.

TV programmes
I always have to make time for some Hollyoaks action.  

If I hadn’t been a footballer
Maybe I would have given athletics a whirl.

Tell us something we don’t know about you
I once ran the 100 metres in 11.3 seconds. I only got beaten once at school. I’m pretty sure that I won that too but they were fed up of me winning!

If I could play alongside any player
Me on one wing and Cristiano Ronaldo on the other would be a lively combination.

Most embarrassing moment
I did gift Reading a goal when we played them during the season they were promoted. I completely fell asleep and neglected my defensive duties. I’ve learnt my lesson... honest!

In five years’ time
I want to be playing in the Premiership and challenging for a place in the England team.

From the December 2007 issue of FourFourTwo. 

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