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Football Origins with Corry Evans

The Northern Ireland international is next in line for our new feature

30 October 2019

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Corry Evans is next in line to step up to the plate in our new 'Football Origins' feature...

We sat down with the midfielder to discuss his career so far, his firsts, his favourites and much more.

This piece will be in the matchday programme against Sheffield Wednesday.

First Football Memory

Just playing out in the street with my brother and a few older boys from where I lived. There was an area of green grass out the front where I lived back home in Belfast and we used to play there. After that, I remember going to the Coerver Soccer School, which was a Dutch thing, when I was about five or six.

Team You Supported Growing Up

I was a Man United fan. My dad supported them and so I was brought up as a Man United fan.

First Game You Attended

I probably went to a couple of Irish League games when I was younger, but the first one I remember at Windsor Park was Northern Ireland v France, who had just won the World Cup, so they brought the trophy with them and were parading it around Windsor Park, so that was a nice experience to see all the top players from that squad. The first Man United game I went to was against Spurs the day they won the league. That was a great experience, to travel over to Manchester and see the team I supported playing at Old Trafford.

First Football Shirt Owned

Probably a Man United one, but I do remember my Granny buying me an Aston Villa kit, because I think she liked the colours, so I had that for a while!First Pair Of Football BootsPuma King were quite popular back then, but my favourite pair growing up, we were on holiday in Spain and my dad bought me a pair of Joma ones. They were a metallic blue colour and it was quite nice going home and showing all the boys in the team my new blue boots!

Favourite Player

Anyone from that Man United team – Ryan Giggs, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, David Beckham. I also liked Zinedine Zidane when I was younger and I managed to get over to Madrid once to watch Real Madrid and Valencia at the Bernabeu, which was a great experience. I bought a Zidane 5 shirt as well. He was one of my idols growing up.

First Junior Team

It was a team back in Northern Ireland called Greenisland Boys. My first training session, when I was about seven years old, was at an indoor sports hall in a leisure centre, but now they’re one of the biggest boys teams in Northern Ireland and they’ve had a lot of success getting boys over to England and Scotland for trials.

Age You Were Scouted

In Belfast at the time, there was a Man United Soccer School, so I used to go twice a week and maybe once on a Sunday, and you would be coached by people who were affiliated with Man United and if you were good enough, you were asked over on trial. I think I moved over to Manchester when I was 13. My family were moving over because of Jonny, who had already signed permanently at Man United, so when we were making the switch, they asked me to come on a trial and then I was invited back for another six weeks and I managed to get signed up and joined Man United Academy at Under-13s or Under-14s.

Professional Debut

My professional debut was a bit weird because I actually made my international debut before my club debut. So my debut for Northern Ireland was against Italy away in Pisa, playing against Gennaro Gattuso and Antonio Cassano. Damien Johnson actually played in the same team as me that night! I think I played and scored against Slovenia in my first competitive game, which was a European qualifier, again before my league debut, which was against Bristol Rovers away for Carlisle. I went on a month’s emergency loan to Carlisle. I lived in a house with about six lads and had to fend for myself. It was a good experience to grow up and learn what men’s football is. I think we drew 1-1 that day.

Best Memory in Football

The Euros with Northern Ireland. It was an amazing experience, playing against Germany in Paris Saint-Germain’s stadium and the night in Lyon when we beat Ukraine 2-0. Those memories will live with me forever.

Best Advice Ever Received

I always listened to my dad growing up, because he went through at Chelsea and Forest when he was younger, and also my older brother, who was a couple of years ahead of me and had been through it. You take bits from everyone, but the main thing is you’ve just got to keep practicing. There’s going to be ups and downs along the way, but you’ve just got to keep your mind focused and hopefully you’ll come out at the other end of it.

Advice For Young Players

Just keep going and believe in yourself. It’s everyone’s dream as a young boy to be a footballer, so just believe in yourself and hopefully one day you get that opportunity, and if you get that opportunity, it’s all about working hard to maintain your place in the team and trying to improve every day.

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