iCanPlay: Jordan Rhodes Q&A
Tell us about how and why you got involved in playing football?
I got into football from watching my dad play, going along on a Saturday afternoon was all I wanted to do and try and emulate him.
The more I got involved in it, the more I realised that I liked being at the other end of the field and scoring goals.
There was a real thrill in that.
Who have you played football for from the start of your journey?
I started off playing for Kearney Hill up in Scotland and then moved down to Barnsley where it was Hoyland Common Falcons.
I had a stint at Barnsley Academy before and after then, and then went to the Ipswich Academy where I finished high school.
What do you enjoy about playing football?
The thrill of scoring goals, I’ve read a few autobiographies and one that really sticks out with me is Paul Scholes and the way that he says: “if you could bottle that feeling of when the ball has left your foot and it is past the goalkeeper but hasn’t yet reached the goal, if you could bottle that emotion and sell it on the high street, you’d earn a lot of money for it.”
It is a feeling like no other and it’s that feeling and that rush that really gives you that excitement, particularly as a striker to keep going and strive for more.
Who are your role models in football?
Growing up it was people like Henrik Larson, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and David Beckham all for different reasons.
The first two for the goals they used to score and Beckham for how he came from such adversity to being the person that he is.
I admire a lot of people in football really, the documentaries that you watch nowadays, I think Mikel Arteta came across really well in Arsenal’s documentary recently.
There’s lots to admire.”
What are your greatest achievements in playing football and why?
I have been really fortunate in my career to have achieved some of the things I have, and I have been really fortunate to play with such great players that have made those things possible.
I think playing international football was something that I never thought would be possible and playing in the Premier League was something that I always imagined as a child always dreamed of doing.
To have grown up and been able to have done that is really self-fulfilling, so the fact that I have played international football and in the Premier League is really humbling.
What are your goals for the future?
It would be a real special achievement to make the ‘100 Club’ for Town.
It’s something that has been on my mind ever since I walked back in the building, it’s something that I go to bed at night thinking about, and something I wake up in the morning travelling to work thinking about.
Seeing Boothy’s name with everyone else’s in reception, to have my name on that wall would be something quite special to me personally.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced in playing football?
I have faced plenty, to be honest.
I think that applies to a lot of people in the football industry, there’s always an obstacle, there’s always somebody criticising you – particularly in the early days.
I remember people saying: “he’s not quick, he’s not fast, he’s not strong, he’s not this, he’s not that.”
There was plenty of people saying things that I couldn’t do and I just think for anybody out there wanting advice, it’s just to keep trying and work as hard as you can to try and be the best you can possibly be.
Sometimes genetics don’t allow for certain things to be possible but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t be quicker than you were yesterday or better technically than what you were yesterday.
Just try to fight the adversity, people will be willing to put a label on you and throw things your way but stay true to yourself.
Who’s had the biggest influence on you as a footballer and why?
My dad and my brother.
My dad because he went on to play football and going to the games and watching him.
Seeing him go out on a Saturday at 3pm was all I ever wanted to do and seeing him, and all the other players come into the players lounge afterwards and then see them go out of the players entrance at 5pm after having won or whatever the result had been.
Seeing the fans outside and how much it meant to them was something pretty striking so early on in my life and something that made me think that that was all I wanted to do, I want to score goals and make people happy and play in a football team that wins.
What advice would you give to people thinking about getting involved in playing football?
Give it your all.
If it makes you happy stick with it.
It isn’t necessarily always about winning but if you do like the competitive aspect of it then football is a great chance to achieve that.
It teaches you great disciplines in your life that you might not get from a book, a real physical lesson and allows you to experience things that you might not experience in other sports or other walks of life.
Give it a go, playing with your friends or people that you don’t know and make new friends.
Being in the great outdoors has huge benefits to physiological and psychological aspects of your life.
Make sure that you’re always happy doing it, if you don’t remain happy then try something else.
Jordan Rhodes was speaking ahead of Huddersfield Town’s Quid a Kid fixture against Cardiff City on Saturday 17 September, 3pm.
All those aged under 19 can get tickets for the fixture for just £1 when buying in advance of match day.
All under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.To find out more, visit www.htafc.com/quidakid or to purchase tickets, visit www.htafc.com/tickets