Jack Rodwell has accumulated over 100 first-team appearances for Everton, worn the captain’s armband whilst representing his country, and is now making an impression as a member of the full England squad.
It’s fair to say that at just 20 years of age the Southport-born midfielder has already achieved a lot.
In an exclusive interview with JMU Journalism, he discusses life as a Premier League footballer, fulfilling his childhood dreams and how it feels to be tipped as England’s new golden boy.
The Merseyside lad led a very normal childhood until the age of seven, when he was picked to play for Everton. He told JMU Journalism: “I always supported Everton as a child. When I joined the club it was so amazing. As I got older, I started to realise just how much I had achieved and I started to dream about playing in the first team, and I put everything into achieving it.”
Even though Jack is now a hero to many youngsters, he still has his own idols within the sport and says he admires a lot of other players, such as Alan Shearer and “the likes of [Lionel] Messi, Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta”.
To outsiders, the Premier League seems like a glamorous world, where the players get paid millions to run around a pitch and are constantly embroiled in scandals in tabloid newspapers, but in reality that is far from the truth, according to Jack.
He said: “I usually train around five days a week plus a match of a weekend, so it’s important for me to rest a lot so my muscles can recover after each session. After the session I will usually come home and rest around the house for a few hours. I try to keep my life very low key and not too strenuous.
“I want to achieve as much in the game as I possibly can.”
“There are times when I feel I can’t do what my friends do, for example going out a lot on a night out, because I feel people might judge me, but this is just a small sacrifice that I’m happy to do.”
The highlight of Rodwell’s career so far has most definitely been his transition from the England Under 21’s squad to the first team. Rodwell told JMU Journalism about his promotion to the senior side: “Getting called up to England seniors was a dream come true, playing for England is most kids’ dream and to be able to achieve it is so surreal.
“It’s the biggest highlight of my career so far, it has just made me want to play for them as much as I possibly can.”
The media attention on the sport has heightened in recent times, as many footballers grace our newspaper headlines for their personal lives instead of their performances on the pitch. He said: “I sometimes get down about myself being in the media but I think it’s really important for me not to focus on that side for me. I just try to stay concentrated on playing well. I do get attention when I go out, but mostly it’s only from fans asking for pictures and I’m always more than happy to do so.
“I want to achieve as much in the game as I possibly can, at the moment there is a lot more to come from me and I feel as though I’m improving season by season, I just want to continue to do that.”