Midfielder talks pre-season and international duty
Huddersfield Town midfielder Oliver Norwood played against two World Cup teams this summer in South America despite not visiting Brazil!
The 23 year-old played against Uruguay and Chile in late May/early June for Northern Ireland as part of the country’s South American tour, winning his 16th and 17th international caps.
“I had an excellent summer,” said Ollie. “The tour was as good an experience that I have had playing football. We played two very good games against two top teams who competed well at the World Cup.
“Chile were a very good team as were Uruguay, but we competed well in both games and I thought that personally I played well in the side. The places that we visited were unbelievable; if a chance ever arose to go again I would jump at it. Uruguay and Chile aren’t your average holiday destinations, but if you don’t mind flying for 16 hours I would highly recommend them.”
Chile’s performance at this year’s World Cup surprised many, but having experienced first-hand their quality Ollie knew what they were capable of.
“They were quick, sharp and aggressive,” he said. “It was a very tough 90 minutes and we did well to keep it 0-0 until the 80th minute. They were able to bring on the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal from the bench, quality that we didn’t have on ours!”
The former Manchester United youngster has now made 17 international appearances and relishes the responsibility of playing for his country: “I enjoy it,” he said. “I am trying to play consistently well to cement down one of the midfield berths for when the European qualifiers come around. It is tough at the start of your career when you are trying to force your way into the team and you don’t even make the bench, but I feel like I am an important part of the international team now.”
Despite having a slightly shorter time off than most of the squad because of international duty, Ollie couldn’t wait for pre-season to start with Town.
“Everyone is happy to be back; it is good to see two new players in already. You have two or three weeks on holiday, but then you get bored and you just want to get back training. It is good to see that the training ground has progressed again over the summer; it is a really happy camp and a good place to work. The progress made at PPG Canalside has been very impressive and it looks like there is more to come from the Club, which is great for us as players.”
“The coaching has been very good,” said Ollie. “The Manager has made some changes and the new coaches are more hands on. It is nice to hear fresh voices with new ideas and the lads have taken to them. It is important that we hit the ground running.”
Ollie was also pleased to see Steve Eyre (click HERE)
being promoted fully into the First Team set-up: “Steve is a football man; he lives and breathes the game. He is a hugely experienced coach who has a good understanding of the game; you would be foolish not to listen to his advice. I have known Steve for a very long time and I am looking forward to working with him and improving.”
And with just over a month to go until the start of the season, Ollie is confident that the Terriers can make a positive start despite two tough away trips in the first week.
“We went to Reading last year and played them off the park, we should have come away with more than a point. We also played really well down at Cardiff the last time they were in the division only to be beaten by a last minute goal. Both games will be very tough, but I just can’t wait to get going. I want to massively improve on last year and kick on again.”
Get your 2014/15 Season Card now - click HERE