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Sam Hoskins is next to talk us through his career thus far

20 March 2020

Following on from Sam's #20QuestionsWith, he also takes the time to talk us through his career in the next instalment of #MyJourneySoFar...

Developing a passion for the game and idolising players...

"I was kicking a football around from a very young age. I’d go to the park or play in the garden and it just developed from there. I first joined a team when I was five years old and have played ever since. I always used to enjoy collecting all the footballs and shirts, too.

"I’m a Manchester United fan, and my first shirt was a David Beckham one. He’s always been my biggest idol, and as I’ve got older, I’ve become a massive fan of Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s been a bit tough for United over the last couple of years, but my Dad supported them too so that’s where I get that connection from."

Learning from some of the best at the famous Southampton Academy...

"I first had a trial with Southampton when I was seven years old. I was spotted playing for my local team and went for a trial soon after, although it was a bit too much too soon for me and was intense for my age group.

"So instead, I carried on playing for my local team up until I was 12/13 before ringing the Southampton scout back to ask for a trial, which he agreed to. That went well and I ended up signing for them.

"Joining Southampton was a big step up from where I was, but they’re renowned for producing world-famous footballers and it’s great to be associated with them. In my youth team there was some players that have gone on to become big names in the Premier League, so it was certainly great for my upbringing and development."

Dealing with setbacks and having to go out on trial...

"After Southampton, I joined Yeovil on a permanent transfer but didn’t really play too much, for one reason or another. It was the first time I was properly in and around a first-team environment, so it wasn’t ideal for me not to be getting much game-time.

"We were struggling in the league and I was in and out of the squad, so I didn’t quite get the break I needed in terms of proving myself. When I got released from Yeovil it was quite a worrying time because I felt as though I hadn’t played enough to generate much interest from other clubs. I was speaking to my agent and he advised me to trial at a few clubs.

"I had some concrete offers from some non-league clubs but the best thing for me was to bide my time and trial with some league teams. I was originally supposed to trial with Portsmouth for two weeks, but they brought forward their pre-season tour to America and asked if I could join up with them when they got back, so instead I went to Northampton as Chris Wilder wanted to have a look at me."

Signing for the Cobblers and having an amazing first season...

"Chris was pleased with what he saw and I originally signed a one-year contract. After a few months that was extended further, and I could really start to settle in to the club. Originally it was quite a daunting prospect (having to trial) because you don’t have much security, especially if you get injured, but looking back it’s worked out really well and I’m obviously really thankful to the club for that opportunity.

"Joining Northampton was huge for me and my progression as a player. As I mentioned, I initially hadn’t had those games under my belt to help with my development and gain that experience, but Northampton was where I really started playing regular first-team football. When I look back and see where I was when I first joined to where I am now then I feel I’ve adapted well and become a better player."

Developing as a player and working towards another promotion...

"It’s been everything that I’ve needed and to be here for five years, it’s not something that a lot of players do at this level (to stay at a club for that period of time). We’ve had ups and downs over that time but it’s been a priceless experience for me and we want to have a strong end to the season and fight for promotion once football resumes again.

"My first year here was really special. To start the season as a trialist and to end it as part of the side that won the league with 99 points was special and it’s been the highlight so far. It’s amazing to be involved with a team like that and you must enjoy those moments when they come around, and we’re looking to do something similar this year.

"We have quality and experience in our squad, and we’ve got a real good chance of doing something special again. There’s been plenty of highlights during my time here and I wouldn’t change it for anything, so it’s definitely been good for me."

Learning from the past and becoming a regular in the team...

"You need to play games in order to develop in to a good player at this level and I’ve managed to have a good run in the side over the last couple of years. I feel I’ve progressed and it’s nice to know the manager has that trust in me. The key for me is playing as many games as possible and I’ve got to believe in myself to keep producing the performances I have done so far this season.

"My confidence has certainly improved this year and I’ve manage to add more goals and assists to my game. I was disappointed with last season so to kick-on this year has been great. It’s always helpful when you’re winning games and surrounded by good players, and again it’s nice to repay the manager and the staff for the faith they put in you.

"I’m critical of myself and understandably the fans have demanded more of me in the past, particularly considering the positions I was getting in. But I think I’ve shown this season that I’m improving, and I’m hoping to add more goals and assists in the final part of the campaign. The ones that stick out for me are the goals at Exeter City and Salford City, I’d say they’re my two favourites so far this season."

Playing and adapting to different positions across the pitch...

"I’ve played in quite a few different positions over the last couple of years but ultimately that makes you a better player and gives you a better understanding of the game. Whether I’m playing upfront, wing-back or behind the striker, it doesn’t bother me where I play as long as I can help contribute to the team and I’m there to do a job to the best of my ability.

"I believe playing in different positions helps shapes me as an all-round player and helps develop my understanding of key areas on the pitch. Since playing wing-back it’s developed my game defensively, and I still get to attack when possible particularly when I’m used more centrally at times, so it’s helped me develop into a better all-round player."

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