‘’ Be the best you can (practice) , show a fantastic attitude with lots of hard work and always want to learn (listen) ‘’
1) Hi Andy, We remember when you scored against Leeds United and pulled out a classic knee slide celebration, you didn’t score too many so talk us through your best goal?
My best goal was between obviously that one against Leeds because of the nature of the game. The fans wanted the bragging rights, the club was in the process of a restructure once again after another managerial sacking but Dean Hoyle had just taken over so the feel good factor was around the place which made the game even more special cause of the direction the club wanted to go. The other goal was against Leyton Orient in 2007. I'd always been a midfield player growing up but made the transition to Right back/wing back due to injuries and seemed to stay there. The game against Leyton Orient was at home and Andy Ritchie wanted me to play in Central Midfield which gave me the opportunity of where I always wanted to play, I scored 2 that day but the 1st one I believed was the best. The ball dropped on the edge of the area around 25 yards out and I hit a half volley in to the corner.
2) We believe young players should participate in football for all the great moments of joy that stay with you. What moment do you most treasure from your playing career?
The dressing room is one of the best places on earth, there are so many different characters from different walks of life. You create so many friendships from a young age which I believe is very important in creating life experiences from a young age. The moments I treasured the most were the promotions that I was part of. To start a season with a group of friends to then 46 games later challenging to be one of the best teams in that league is a fantastic feeling / achievement you go through so much together.
3) How would you describe your football education as a young player and how has it now changed for the next generation?
My Football education was a good one, from a young age I played for my local team 2 years above my age then as I grew a little older to (10/11) I played 1 year above before I signed for Huddersfield town. I then progressed through their academy system with fantastic coaches. I think the one thing that's changed is the facilities and the coaching hours that children are given now. The facilities we grew up with were no where near the ones available now and the opportunities for children to go to academies is a lot easier than before cause of the amount of teams / development centres including scouts there is now.
4) What advice would you give to young players on trying to fulfil their ambitions of playing football at the highest level?
I had 3 mottos from my Grandad when i was growing up and I still live my these now.
Be the best you can (practice)
Show a fantastic attitude with lots of hard work
Always want to learn (listen)
From a young age you have to practice practice practice to make sure you are one step ahead or the others. If you get to the first team you still need to practice to make sure you don't get left behind. I say this to the young players at Barnsley FC all the time.
5) If you could pick a 5 a side team featuring two players you have played with and three of your all time favourites who would they be?
I'd probably go 1-2-1 formation
Alex Smithies (GK) - came into 1st team at town from a young age , good technical ability and organises effectively.
Rob Page (Def) - came to HTFC at the end of his career, his knowledge of the game was 2nd to none and had so much time for the young lads , solid defender.
Zidane (Mid) - unbelievable technician with the Awareness of an Owl.
Paul Gascoigne (Mid) - He was the player I wanted to emulate due to his personality, everyone loved him and he scored some fantastic goals
Proper Ronaldo not This fake one (For) - The old Ronaldo, he could score from anywhere and was quick!! He would go past defenders/ GK like the Road Runner.
6) Finally, you have decided to make the transition from player to coach. What do you want to achieve in your now coaching career?
I want to get to a level where I feel I can be and be the best, my ambition is to work in/ around a first team environment. Hopefully someday I will be a first team manager but I know I'm no where near ready, I need to learn a lot more. From the start of the transition from Pro football to coaching I always stated I wanted to start at the bottom and work my way through each phase learning along the way. That's the dream of where I want to be if it doesn't happen then I can say I've given it my best shot!
Andy is currently the Lead Foundation Phase Coach of Barnsley FC and can be found on twitter on @andyhold5