New­port County mid­fielder Joss Labadie talks us through his foot­ball mem­o­ries

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE RESULTS -

First game you watched live? My first ever match was at High­bury. it was Arse­nal against Coven­try and I was only six or seven, so it would have been about 1996. I went with my un­cle and it was quite a bor­ing game – it ended 0-0! It wasn’t a great spec­ta­cle, but it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence to go to High­bury as a young lad. It was shortly af­ter Arsene Wenger took over – I re­mem­ber that Ian Wright was play­ing up front and he two-footed the Coven­try keeper Steve Ogri­zovic! It says some­thing that was my only mem­ory of the game. First foot­ball hero? I re­mem­ber see­ing Ian Wright on the TV bang­ing them in and I have been an Arse­nal fan ever since. He was my num­ber one and Patrick Vieira af­ter that. First foot­ball boots? My first boots were a pair of Adi­das Preda­tors – the old ones with the big lumps on the toes. It wasn’t any­thing like the David Beck­ham ones with the long tongue, mine were all black and had a lump on top that was sup­posed to help you curl shots. I tried them out, but it didn’t help me much… First kit? My first shirt was an Arse­nal kit and I re­mem­ber get­ting a keeper’s shirt

with all the bright colours like David Sea­man used to wear. I think I had a lit­tle go in goal but I was quickly told that I wasn’t any good and had to try an­other po­si­tion. It worked out ok in the end! First pro­fes­sional game? My first game was against Brad­ford for Shrewsbury Town in League Two in early 2009, when I was on loan from West Brom. I was 18 and it was a 0-0 draw. It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing in front of 12,000 fans which was some­thing I wasn’t used to from play­ing youth foot­ball. I started the game, played 90 min­utes and I blew up af­ter about 60 min­utes but I hung in there for the rest of the game. I re­mem­ber (Shrewsbury man­ager) Paul Simp­son and (as­sis­tant) John McMa­hon throw­ing me en­er­gis­ing gels to liven me up! First pro­fes­sional goal? My first goal as a pro­fes­sional was again for Shrewsbury. It was a free-kick on the first day of the 2009-10 sea­son against Bur­ton Al­bion – a few months af­ter I made my de­but – and we won 3-1. It was about 25 yards out and it de­flected in, so I was pretty lucky. But you have to take them all! First red card? I’ve been sent off a few times and my first red card was for Shrewsbury as well, the same sea­son I scored my first goal, for two yel­low cards. I was a young lad and I was silly with a cou­ple of noth­ing chal­lenges against More­cambe – I’d scored ear­lier in the game as well. The man­ager Paul Simp­son wasn’t too happy and, about a month af­ter that, I was sent back to West Brom. It wasn’t a great ex­pe­ri­ence but you learn from it.

GOAL KING: Arse­nal’s Ian Wright

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