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Interviews

#MYJOURNEYSOFAR: SCOTT WHARTON

On-loan Blackburn Rovers defender details his career

30 March 2020

Having been a key figure in the Cobblers defence this campaign, Scott Wharton is next up to talk us through his journey so far...

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

"I've come from a family that have always played sport, and I've got two brothers that both grew up playing football, so that's how I originally got involved. My Dad played cricket and my Mum was a P.E teacher, so I've been around sport from a very early age and started playing football for my local club from around six years of age.

"I've supported Blackburn Rovers all of my life and went to the majority of the games when I was younger. We were in the Premier League at the time so I looked up to the likes of David Dunn and Martin Olsson. When I actually signed for Rovers they got Olsson to come and meet me and welcome me to the club which was fantastic. Morten Gamst Pedersen had a wand of a left-foot, too."

Signing for my boyhood team...

"I was twelve when I signed for Rovers, and I'd just been playing Saturday and Sunday football at the time, as well as for my school. My teacher got me a trial with Burnley because he had links with them, so I spent six weeks on trial there. However, we didn't play a game during that period and my Dad had heard there'd been a Blackburn scout watching me. It's funny really because we were finally about to play a game for Burnley after weeks of training, but we were a bit cheeky and got in touch with Rovers to see if they were interested as I probably would've signed for Burnley after that game, so they had to show their interest quickly.

"Rovers got me in for a trial game on the Thursday and I signed straight after, and that was that. Being a Blackburn fan at the time, and still being one now, it was a dream come true for me. Looking back now it was massive."

Working my way through the youth system at Rovers and experiencing the Championship... 

"
I played in the academy age groups until I was an under 16, and that's when they decide if you're offered a scholarship or not. We had a strong group at that age and the majority of us were given scholarships, which was good. Then from 16-18 I had quite a few ups and downs, a couple of injuries and didn't really play too much so I wasn't really sure how it was going to pan out to be honest.

"But I managed to get back to full fitness and played with the reserve team quite a bit and was awarded with my first professional contract. Since then I've just kicked on and been getting as much experience as possible.

"I got my first taste of Championship football when I was 18, making my debut against Burton Albion. It was a bit surreal at the time because we had a lot of injuries in that position and there wasn't really anyone else available, but to get a taste of it as a teenager was brilliant. I then went on loan to get some more experience, starting with Cambridge United."

Developing whilst on loan, maturing as a player and winning promotion...

"I was at Cambridge for half a season, followed by two spells with Lincoln and half a season with Bury, so I've had plenty of football and experience since making my debut for Blackburn, which has definitely benefitted me as a player.

"Once you get that taste of playing first-team football it makes you want even more, and that's what drives you on. I've seen first-hand the standard I need to be at to play games in the Championship and it acts as motivation. I think I've matured more since being out on loan and the experiences so far have been really helpful.

"I've been lucky enough to be involved with a couple of promotion pushes already, and my first season at Lincoln we were really close but lost in the play-offs. Then the next season I went back but wasn't playing too much, so I joined Bury. Considering everything that was happening off the pitch at the time, it was a really good experience for me and getting promoted there is one of my best achievements in my career so far.

"At one point we'd lost three games on the bounce, the financial problems were hitting all of the players and it looked in some doubt, but we managed to get through it and win promotion, and to have that on my CV at the age of 22 is something I'm proud of."

Joining the Cobblers and feeling at home away from home...

"I'm very happy with how the season has gone so far, both from a team and individual point of view. I've played a lot of games, in fact the most games compared to any of my other spells, and we're doing well in the league (up until the enforced break) and it does feel like a second home.

"As long as I'm happy on the pitch then I'm happy off the pitch, too. As a defensive unit we've been strong. Myself, Charlie Goode and Jordan Turnbull have played the majority of the games together and we've built a good understanding. Some of the others lads have come in and contributed in a big way as well, including both goalkeepers, so it's good to have that within the squad.

"I've managed to chip in with a few goals as well, and we're having a bit of competition among the defenders to see who can get the most! So that helps keep us on our toes.

"If we do get the chance to carry this season on then all the lads know what's there for us and what's up for grabs in terms of the promotion push. We want to hit the ground running when we return, there are nine big games to go and we'll do everything we can to have a successful end to the season." 



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