The next instalment of our #20QuestionsWith series features striker Vadaine Oliver! Find out his answers below...
1) What’s your first footballing memory, either playing or watching?
"It would have to be my Mum taking me to watch Sheffield Wednesday v Leicester City as a kid. The stadium wasn’t far from me and she supported them when she was young, and that was my first game.
2) Who’s had the biggest influence on your career?
"My Mum, 100%. She was massive for me; she’d take me to training 2-3 times a week and everywhere up and down the country for the games at the weekend. If I wanted to go to the park and kick a ball around she’d always go with me so she’s definitely had the biggest influence.
"David Holdsworth was also important for me, he gave me an opportunity after I had a bad injury at Sheffield Wednesday. He helped me get my career up and running with Lincoln and if it wasn’t for that opportunity I could’ve possibly dropped out of the game, who knows? He’s similar to Keith Curle in terms of knowing how to get the best out of me and I really enjoyed my time there."
3) Which player(s) inspired you the most whilst growing up?
"The original Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer."
4) If you could re-invent yourself as a player in a different position, where would you play?
"I’d fancy a little central attacking midfield role, behind the strikers like a David Silva or Andres Iniesta!"
5) Who’s the best player you’ve either played against?
"The best player I’ve played against is Virgil Van Dijk when he was up at Celtic. I was at Crewe Alexandra at the time and we played them in a pre-season tournament. You could tell then that he was going to be world class, he was as strong as anything. I remember he got the ball, stepped out to the halfway line and rocked a shot against the cross bar. I’ve never seen it shake so much!
"When he signed for Southampton, I knew he’d kick on further and it’s no surprise that he’s at the level he is now. Wayne Rooney was special too; he’s done it all. He dictated everything when we played against them and he’s had an unbelievable career."
6 Do you have any pre-match superstitions/routines?
"I always like to eat the same food the night before a game and on the day of the game. I wear the same boxers, the same socks, stop at the petrol station and buy the same drink. If we have a good game I’ll carry it on, if we lose then I’ll try something else!"
7 Away from football, are you interested in any other sports?
"I enjoy basketball."
8) At school, what was your favourite and least favourite subject?
"I wasn’t a fan of Design & Technology. I didn’t get on great with the teacher, so I never looked forward to that. I always liked Art & English; my best mate was in the same English class, so we worked well together."
9) If you could travel to a place you’ve never visited before, where would you go?
"I think I’d like to go to Bali, I’ve never been there before but it looks amazing."
10) If you were stuck in a lift with a current Northampton team-mate, who would you like it to be and who would you hope to avoid?
"I’ll avoid Shaun McWilliams. His banter is terrible. I’d probably choose Ryan Watson to be stuck with, he’s a good guy."
11) Who has the worst banter in the squad?
12) What’s your speciality in the kitchen?
"I’m alright to be fair, I’ve got a bit in the kitchen. I wouldn’t say I’ve got a main signature dish that stands out, but I can do a bit of all sorts. Obviously we have to eat healthy food, and I really like Caribbean and Italian dishes."
13) Do you have any hobbies outside of football?
"I like to be with my kids and we got a puppy a few weeks ago so I’ve turned into a serial dog walker (at least I did before we were limited to one walk a day)! We’re trying to train him at the moment. Plus, since we’ve been without football I’ve turned into Alan Titchmarsh in the garden."
14) What’s your favourite film?
"My favourite film is Gladiator, that was my favourite growing up. I like watching actions and thrillers, I’m a big film person to be fair. Nicky Adams, Jordan Turnbull and I are all similar. We watch a lot of films and discuss them. I’d have to throw Training Day in there, too!"
15) If you weren’t a professional footballer, which route would you have gone down?
"I probably would’ve worked with my Dad. He’s got his own surveyor business in London so I might have gone down that route and go to Uni."
16) Which Netflix/TV series would you recommend watching?
"There’s loads, that’s a hard question! If I had to narrow it down to three, I’d say Breaking Bad, Power, Games of Thrones, Narcos and Entourage. They’re ‘Vadaine’s Five Essentials!’"
17) It’s your turn on the karaoke, which song do you choose?
"For my initiation I sang Mario – Let Me Love You."
18) You’re stuck on a desert island, which three items do you take with you?
"That’s a tough one. To be honest I have no idea. I think I’d try and take Bear Grylls!"
19) Do you have any pets, and if so which ones?
"We have a brown cockapoo puppy. His name is Koby. He’s a legend to be fair and he’s great for the kids."
20) If you could pass on some advice to a younger player, what would it be?
"Just don’t give up on yourself. If you love the game and you’ve got the right hunger and desire to work hard and improve then you can make it. It won’t work out for you at every club or every team, just don’t give up and you’ll make it if you don’t give up and take your opportunities when they come along."