Writer: Michael Stockley
Date:Sunday January 1 2012
Welcome to the exclusive interview with Stoke City's number one goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as he joins Michael Stockley on a rare one to one meeting and provides us with a small insight into his career to date as a potter.
Everyone at Stoke VitalFootball would like to thank Asmir for taking his time out to talk to us.
Welcome to VitalFootball Asmir, I am looking forward to seeing what insight we can get into your career so far at Stoke City FC.
Michael: Firstly Asmir, what was your path to football, did you get a lucky break, did the game run in the family or did you go looking for a club?
Asmir: Well the game ran through my family as everyone in my family played the game, my grandfather and my dad both played in goal, so it was natural for me to be a goalkeeper also. And along the way a lot of hard work had to be put in. I've had some fantastic youth coaches who guided me along the way and I got the right breaks at the right time which allowed me to come to England and pursue my dream of being a professional footballer.
M: Please can you describe a typical morning for you Asmir before you tackle training and the difference between a session at the start of the week compared to a weekends game?
A: A typical morning for me, would be getting up in the morning having breakfast at home with my family and then heading to training. I start off with Gym work every day which is usually beneficial to injury prevention. And then the important starts the work on the training pitch. Our training is specific with our goalkeeping coach and as the week goes on and we get closer to the game the training becomes more specific to prepare for the game and the specific opponent.
M: Of course being a Goalkeeper to a normal outfield player is different, what does your actual training consist of?
A: Our training consists of goalkeeper specific things. Our coach has a session plan every day to work on different things. Its a combination of work on the training pitch and in the gym to help us get better. Goalkeeping is very complex so every day there are plenty of things to work on.
M: Of course competition between you and Tommy is going to be at its highest right now, both of you have signed new deals. Was there anything in particular that encouraged you to sign on the dotted line knowing getting the number 1 jersey was going to be tough?
A: Competition is always high at good clubs so nothing comes easy or guaranteed. For me the direction the club is heading in is good and the ambition is right. Of course I want to be playing and I will work hard to make the managers life very difficult for when it comes to naming the team. If that doesn't happen then we will see what happens as nobody wants to sit on the bench.
M: Do you have any particular preparation/routines/superstitions for match days?
A: I do have a specific routine I like to stick to once I get to the ground to get me ready for a game, but not any superstitions really as they can really take things over mentally and you think about them too much if they don't happen.
M: Who do you share a room with on away days?
A: We are very lucky that we get our own rooms, which is very nice!
M: Michael: As you of more than likely heard, Goal-Line Technology is being brought into the game, even as early as next season. In your opinion, should Goal-Line Technology be brought into the game and do you see it as being a positive or negative thing for a goalkeeper in particular?
A: I am sure Goal Line Technology will benefit the game. For me personally it isn't such a big deal whether it happens or not as I quite like the game being human and the excitement of certain decisions add spice to the game, whichever way the decision goes.
M: What is your favourite moment/game as a Stoke player to date?
A: For me it was me debut for Stoke away to Chelsea, it's always the fondest memory I've had which ever club I've been at.
M: You are still very young with no doubt a great career ahead of you, what are your ambitions for your career?
A: My ambitions in the game are to play at the highest level I possibly can and to play as many games as I can, and of course, win trophies.
M: How do you relax after a match?
A: Best way for me to relax after games is to spend time with my family and friends, having a nice dinner.
M: Do you follow any other football teams or even other sports?
A: I follow many other athletes and teams on twitter, my other favourite sports teams, like the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Suns, and New York Yankees! I love getting insights on other sports.
M: Do you follow any of the message boards or fanzines? If so, which and how does the criticism or praise affect you and the other players?
A: I don't follow any fan sites or forums, I stay away from those things. People's opinions really don't bother me. Some people like you and some don't, nothing you can do about that.
M: Just a couple of general questions Asmir - Which player would you say is the worst dressed at the club?
A: Worst dressed player at the club is Danny Higginbotham for sure!
M: Who turns up late to training the most and I hear that for being late you get fined, what is your total up to or are you yet to contribute?
A: Ricardo Fuller has a problem with this time keeping and general punctuality so he keeps filling the fine pot up all the time. I am not in charge of where the money goes but I believe quite a bit goes to Charity.
M: Which player would you say is the most intelligent?
A: Most intelligent would have to be Carlo Nash or Matthew Upson, they sounds pretty smart most of the time and are a bit older and wiser than some other guys.
M: Who would you say is the comedian in the team?
A: Comedian would have to be Jermaine Pennant, he's a pretty funny dude.
M: On a final Note Asmir, If you could have one final achievement before retiring, what would it be?
A: To play in a World Cup would be amazing and in the Champions League would be awesome, hopefully with Stoke!
As I am sure you will agree a great snippet from Asmir today and thank you again for this. As always you will only get these exclusive interviews with VitalStoke so spread the word as there is lots more to come!!
Date:Sunday January 1 2012
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