On Wednesday 9th March Sean and I went to the Pirelli Stadium to interview Nigel Clough – we were part of the Junior Press Conference for schools in the Burton upon Trent area, during the conference we got the pleasure to speak to Nigel Clough.
We asked him what he looks for in a player. He told us that he looks for character and then he looks for ability. But, for a captain, he looks for someone who can still motivate his team even when Burton Albion are losing!
Another question we asked was, what changes have you made to the way you play to ensure you win the league. He thought it was too risky to change the way Burton Albion play with only eleven games to go. He also said he may try to get the full backs to attack more.
We asked Nigel Clough why Burton Albion are doing so well when they have only just really been promoted from league two. He thinks it is down to momentum – “when you are in the momentum of winning and doing so well it is hard to stop,” he said it was the same for losing as well.
Nigel thinks that Wigan are the biggest threat for the title of the top of the Npower League One. This is because of the strength of their squad and how much money they have compared to every other team in the league. He is still very determined that Burton Albion will win the league.
The manager he admires the most would be Mauricio Pochettino (the Tottenham manager) because he was very respectful when Burton Albion and Tottenham played each other. He also admires how good he is as a manager.
After the press conference we had a tour of Pirelli Stadium, we found out that the Burton Albion team get changed at the Pirelli Stadium and then go to St George’s Park to train as it is near Burton upon Trent. It also has better facilities than Pirelli Stadium as it is where the England football team train. After training they come back to the Pirelli Stadium to get changed and they then have lunch in the largest box next to the pitch. The lunch they have is made by a special chef (sports scientist) who calculates how many carbohydrates and how much protein they have in their meal to make sure they keep healthy and have enough energy for their training and matches.
We also learned that the pitch had a dip on each side so that the water drains to the side of the pitch. They also have borrowed a machine which replicates sunlight to help the grass grow – the main parts of the pitch that it works on are the areas that are shadowed by the stands. For the pitch the average cost for a year is around £10,000, however this year they have spent around £60,000.
We were also fortunate enough to speak to a player called Mason Bennett:
When asked, what it is like to be part of a professional football team, he responded by saying that it is great and that it is something that he has always wanted to be part of one, it is a dream come true. He said to us that he gets a great feeling and more energy when the crowd chants and sings his name, this makes him work harder.
We also got a few pictures with Mason Bennett.
We really enjoyed our time at the Pirelli Stadium.
Sean and Joel.