The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By David Jor­dan

THERE are few more iconic mid­field part­ner­ships in the his­tory of English football than the ma­raud­ing Manch­ester United duo of Paul Sc­holes and Roy Keane – and both have left their mark on Yeovil’s Ed Up­son.

Hav­ing proved him­self the man for the big oc­ca­sion dur­ing last sea­son’s suc­cess­ful play-off run, Up­son wasted lit­tle time an­nounc­ing his ar­rival in the Cham­pi­onship last week­end by bag­ging the win­ner on the open­ing day at Mill­wall.

The 23-year-old’s 88thminute strike was the club’s first goal at this level, se­cur­ing them their first win in the process and adding an­other line to the mid­fielder’s al­ready lengthy chap­ter in the Glovers’ re­cent his­tory.

It was, af­ter all, Up­son whose late header de­feated Sh­effield United in the play­off semi-fi­nal last May to take them to Wem­b­ley where they beat Brent­ford 2-1, while as a 15-year-old school­boy with Ip­swich he came off the bench to score the win­ner in the 2005 FA Youth Cup fi­nal against Southamp­ton.

Yet suc­cess has not al­ways come so easy for the for­mer Trac­tor Boy, who was shown the door by his home­town club five years af­ter up­stag­ing Theo Wal­cott and Co with then-man­ager Keane leav­ing him in no doubt where he stood.

“Roy Keane sat me down and said I was at the age where I needed to play first­team football if I was to de­velop.” said Up­son. “I needed to go out and find some games and he couldn’t give me any.

“He told me just to find some­where else to play and see how far I could get and it was prob­a­bly the best ad­vice any­one ever gave me.

“It was one of the big­gest things that has hap­pened to me in my ca­reer and I’m where I am now be­cause of that de­ci­sion.

“It was hard be­cause I’m from Bury St Ed­munds and you al­ways want to stay with your lo­cal club.

“I def­i­nitely hoped when I was com­ing through the ranks that I would be play­ing there ev­ery week and scor­ing goals and be­ing a hero for Ip­swich, but some­times it just doesn’t work out like that. I had to move on and buy my­self a car with low mileage!”

It was Terry Skiver­ton who per­suaded Up­son to make the 225-mile jour­ney west in or­der to put him­self back on the map.


Skiver­ton also had the idea of show­ing Up­son a mod­ule on Paul Sc­holes, so he could study video clips of the 11-time Pre­mier League win­ner. That helped him find find his shoot­ing boots, scor­ing five times in the 2011-12 sea­son and six last term – though that wasn’t all he picked up.

“Terry was man­ager then and we looked through some clips of Paul Sc­holes and other play­ers who played that way,” added Up­son, whom Skiver­ton wanted to ‘dom­i­nate’ games like Sc­holes. “Mind you, I think that was the sea­son I picked up 15 book­ings!

“Sc­holes is one of my foot- ball heroes and I try to model my game on his be­cause he was the best in the world. It wasn’t just Sc­holes there were other play­ers as well and I just wanted to pick bits up that could im­prove my game.

“It’s a bit of ev­ery­thing, a bit of tech­nique a bit of po­si­tion­ing. You don’t just want to copy some­one else, you want to be your own player but it would be fool­ish to think you can’t learn from a player like Sc­holes.”

In earn­ing pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship last May, Up­son achieved the tar­get he set him­self on leav­ing Port­man Road in 2010.

Now, hav­ing bro­ken new ground on the open­ing day Up­son has started to catch the eye and the or­der from man­ager Gary John­son is to flaunt what he’s got.

“In the play-off games last year the gaffer told us ev­ery­one was watch­ing and our rep­u­ta­tions were on the line,” he added.

“It was a great chance to make a name for our­selves and it is the same in the Cham­pi­onship.

“I didn’t get the chance to play at Ip­swich but I’ve had that chance with Yeovil. I want to go as far as I can.”

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

HELPERS: Roy Keane and Paul Sc­holes WHAT A START: Yeovil’s Ed Up­son cel­e­brates with Sam Hoskins af­ter scor­ing the late win­ner against Mill­wall Inset: Up­son scores

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