Interview with Martyn Waghorn
Football Professional – Martyn Waghorn
Features and News by Nino Severino
During my coaching career I’ve been very fortunate to work with many athletes, across many sports, British, Commonwealth, European and World Champions and an Olympian.
physically he is outrageous, and an individual who has been blessed with an incredible athletic body, but he’s an individual who has not been satisfied with this,
I’m one of those people who believe in destiny, and the part it plays in the twists and turns of all our life journey’s, my personal life path crossed with a young man called Martyn Waghorn. It all started with an inquiry to the Elena Baltacha Foundation regarding tennis for a young budding little tennis star, from his mother Leoni Waghorn, this led to a meeting and the process of settling master Waghorn into a great tennis programme here in Ipswich.
My first meeting with Martyn and Leoni Waghorn was quite incredible, we talked about many things, and it was one of those meetings that you come out of thinking what lovely people, it was as though I had known them for a very long time.
During one of our meetings Martyn and I started to talk about sport and my specialist field of movement, and one thing led to another and we agreed to arrange a training session, this was easy, as Martyn was an ITFC player at the time, and I was part of the ITFC academy coaching team. The indoor dome facility was booked and both Martyn and I were working together on the indoor artificial pitch.
As I’ve said, I’ve worked with many athletes, but one thing is for sure, Martyn Waghorn ranks right up there in terms of quality, he is, what I would call a sporting thoroughbred. Simply put, physically he is outrageous, and an individual who has been blessed with an incredible athletic body, but he’s an individual who has not be satisfied with this, he has invested in what I call he’s athletic craft and built on what he was born with through many gruelling hours in the gym. For me, he’s also an anomaly, not only for a footballer, but an athlete in general, I say this, because he’s knowledge and intelligence across sports science and training methods and principles, is simply on another level. At the end of one of our training sessions, we sat down, and just talked all things sport, I wanted to know a little bit more about this man who has crossed my path, what I was about to hear, is quite an incredible story!
Martyn started playing football at the tender age of 3, he said, “from the very first kick, football became my life, and I have very fond memories as a kid, playing in the back garden with my dad, who taught me the basics”. He went on to tell me all about the fantastic years he experienced as a young child in football, he said “aged 5 I went to my first summer holiday football camp, this is probably where my next step in football came from. At this soccer school I won all the trophies and the coaches were speaking to my dad a lot. I just loved playing football and scoring goals so the coaches must have seen there was a bit of talent in me. I then went on to join a local club team called Boldon Colts, my first team, where my dad had become the manager. While playing for Boldon I was picked up by a local scout and had the opportunity to join Manchester united School of excellence. This was a great place for me to go learn the game and develop my skills. Pretty much every day of the week and weekends was taken up by football training”.
While Martyn was telling me all about his journey through football, I could not help but notice, this man, was absolutely in love with the game, as he spoke, his eyes lit up, and in a calm but energetic way, he talked me through his life path that had led him through football. “As I was progressing very well at 8 years old I was offered to leave the school of excellence and join Sunderland academy. This is where my career really began. I would stay at Sunderland until I left in 2010. I learnt everything about football from my time at the club. The people I met, the coaches I learnt from gave me the very basics required to succeed on and off the pitch. I was lucky enough to work with some great coaches growing up and I owe a lot to them, for where I am today, especially to Elliot Dickman, Ged Mcnamee and Kevin Ball”.
He went on to complete his story by saying, “in 2006 I signed my 2 year scholarship for Sunderland, then on boxing day 2007, aged 17, I was given my full professional debut against Manchester United at the Stadium of light. I then signed my first professional contract with the club, that season I would make a couple more appearances. I then went on to play at Charlton Athletic in 2008 and in 2009 I moved to Leicester scoring 12 goals, which led to me being called up to the England U19 squad, and then the U21 squad, as part of this team I scored two goals which I will always remember and be extremely proud of”.
Martyn’s football life took him through spells with Hull City, Millwall, Wigan and then onto a glorious period with Glasgow Rangers, where his 20 goal haul helped Rangers back into the Premiership and qualification for the Europa League. Then onto Ipswich, Derby and now Coventry.
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