'' the Brazilian soccer schools and playing Futsal taught me a lot about control, decision making and beating players, these are all key parts of the game it definitely made me the player I am ''
Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with Barnsley left back Aidan White who was happy to discuss his career so far with Tecnica!
What is life like in the Sky Bet Championship?
How did his youth football education play a vital role?
Who has made it into his Tecnica Futbol Sala 5?
Aidan, thanks for joining us. Firstly, we believe that football is all about moments, certain things happen that we remember forever, so what is your most cherished moment in football to date?
That's got to be the two promotions I've been a part of, firstly with Leeds and then with Barnsley last season. Winning at Wembley twice in the same season with the Play Off Final and JPT Final was an unbelievable experience last year, and the run we went on to get promoted was fantastic
I'd also have to say the win at Old Trafford, being a Leeds supporter growing up and knowing the rivalry between the teams, to beat Manchester United at their place was a massive achievement. I came on as a sub to play in front of 70,000 plus people, 10,000 Leeds fans, and I was only 18 so I'll always remember that. And the dressing room after was crazy!
Making my professional debut for Leeds is something I'll always remember as well, we beat Crystal Palace 4-0 I'm the cup and I did well! I'll always be grateful to Gary McAllister who was manager at the time for giving me that opportunity.
You mentioned your debut, can you remember how you felt in the tunnel and your emotions in the build up to the game?
I found out the day before the game, we were doing some team shape in training and Gary McAllister set out a team and said my name. Often the day before a game you play your starting team against another 11, so at first I thought I was playing against the starting team but I soon realised I was playing! Then I just thought wow! I couldn't wait to tell all my family and friends.
The day of the game I was a bit nervous but it was the moment I had been working hard for all my life so I was excited to get going. I actually remember my first moment in the game, I slipped! But I recovered a minute later, won a good tackle and my confidence grew from there and I had a good debut.
What about goals? You're not really known for your goal scoring but is there one that stands out?
Well it would have to be the one I'm most know for, playing for Leeds against Everton, I don’t score many! Rodolph Austin won the ball for us and it fell to me, Fellaini came towards me and I managed to knock it around him, then another player came and I got past them, then Distin was there so I chopped it inside him onto my right and it all opened up. I had a look up and saw where the keeper was and managed to angle the ball near the top corner, and yeah what a moment. I'll always cherish that. It was my first professional goal for Leeds as well!
My very first professional goal actually came when I was on loan at Oldham. We were playing Dagenham & Redbridge away, someone had a shot and it fell to me on my right foot, I took a swing and thankfully it went in. We won the game 1-0 as well so that was another great moment for me.
''It's really nice to look back on your achievements and look at moments from your career because everything is so surreal in football. You know as soon as one game finishes you've got to move on to the next one, you can't think about it for too long you've got to focus on the next game. I'll probably appreciate things more when I've finished playing.
We’ve talked about the moments in your professional career, but how would you describe your football education? Where did it all start?
I had a very good education, I trained a lot when I was young and started at Leeds at the age of 8. I also did a lot of Brazilian Soccer Schools! I was training 5 or 6 times a week. At the academy I learned a lot about the tactical side of the game, but the Brazilian soccer schools and playing Futsal there taught me a lot about control, decision making and beating players, these are all key parts of the game it definitely made me the player I am.
You're now at Barnsley in the Championship, its well documented how tough that league is, how do you get through a gruelling season with so many difficult games? Does psychology play a big part?
Absolutely! I mean players at that level are there for a reason, they're all good players to be at that level, or any professional standard really. What makes the best players I'd say is the psychological side, being able to perform at the right times and not crack under pressure, it's the deciding factor that makes a good player great.
Lots of clubs employ psychologists and they are good to have in the game. I've been unfortunate with injuries, and the psychology when you're injured is massive, injuries can make or break people. I think it can be used as part of your recovery, but also it's about being mentally ready for when you get back fit again. Coming back confident is vital, if you come back from injury and your mind tells you ‘I can feel this pulling’, ‘I'm not 100%’ you can actually be out looking worse than you should be. It's difficult, but if you can get your mind in a good place you seem to return to training and playing quicker, you don't feel the little pains and your body fights through it.
At Tecnica we are passionate about our Tecnica Futbol Sala programme and inspiring young players. Fortunately you know more than a thing or two about Futsal so you've got to pick a 5 player team including 2 players you've played with and 3 of your all time favourites to take to the court. You can pick yourself but its Interesting to see who you leave out here because you've played with a lot of talented players!
I don't want to upset anyone here haha. I've played with some very good players.
I'd say Fab Delph stands out, he was quality.
Messi is my favourite player, got to go Ronaldo.
Ashley Cole, as a left back growing up he was the player I looked up to, outstanding player.
And I'll have to go with Kasper Schmeichel, he's won a premier league title and you could see him growing into a class keeper when I played with him at Leeds.
It's a good team you know that . I don't know what formation we are playing but we’ll just rotate and move the ball around quickly haha
(SEE AIDAN'S TEAM IN THE PICTURE ABOVE)
Finally Aidan, pick a manager for your team, it can be anyone you want..
I'll go with my manager now, Paul Heckingbottom. I'm not just saying that because he's my gaffer now, he's been great to work with!
Special thanks to Aidan for answering all the questions, a very nice pro to talk to and we wish his club side Barnsley the very best of luck for the remainder of the season. What a great campaign they have had under Paul Heckingbottom.