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Take Ten with... John Ruddy - Wolverhampton Wonderers Goalkeeper

Take Ten with... John Ruddy - Wolverhampton Wonderers Goalkeeper

This is week on Take Ten, Academy Director Dan caught up with Wolverhampton Wonderers Goalkeeper John Ruddy to ask him some highly anticipated questions from our players here at FFE.


Dan - ‘You’ve played behind some excellent players over the years, but if you had to pick your best back four that you’ve played with, who would be in it?’


John - “A very difficult question. As a communicator, I like to speak my way through games and communicate with my back four. By making sure they’re doing their job, makes my job a lot easier, which is great for the team. At centre half I would have Connor Cody he’s a terrific leader and communicator, right back I would have to say Russell Martin, again, a great communicator and ability to guide others through the game. At left back I would have to say Adam Drury, he was incredibly consistent and massively underrated. The other centre half I would have to say in his early time at Norwich it would be Seb Bassong, he was an absolute colossal; a man mountain. He was unbeatable on his day. When he was on form, which he was for a long period at Norwich he was brilliant; great on the ball, never hid, great in the air and quick when he got going as well. So that would be my back four.”


Dan - ‘Some great players in there. Question 2 for you, When you were growing up, who was your idol or someone you admired or still admire, you mentioned before you weren’t always a goalkeeper.’


John - “Yeah it’s a weird one. Growing up I was a Man Utd fan, my dad was as well, so I jumped on that bandwagon and they were winning everything as well, which always helped. My two favourite players were Ryan Giggs and Peter Schmeichel, even though I wasn’t a goalkeeper at the time, Peter Schmeichel was always a player where you just thought ‘wow’. And when I did go in goal, he was  someone that I looked at to try and model myself on, because of his presence, his size and his stature were similar to mine as well, so I found it helped as I was able to relate myself to him. So they were my idols growing up.”


Dan - ‘There’s not many better from our generation that you’d can pick either so fair play. Question 3 is What did you learn from playing in the England squad amongst some unbelievable players, so what did you learn and pick up during your time there?’


John - “I think the biggest thing I took away from that experience was the level of professionalism and dedication. And I’m not just talking about on the pitch, I’m talking about everything they done off it. All the pre-activation work before training and games, the gym work that they’d squeeze in after training, the nutritional side of things and just overall the way they carried themselves as inpiduals, the way that everything they done was geared towards being the best on the pitch that they could be. That’s something which unless you see it up close it’s not something you can appreciate from afar really. So that’s the biggest thing I took.”


Dan - ‘The next question is Do you ever get frustrated and if so, how do you deal with it?’


John - “I don’t get as frustrated as I used to, and I think that has come with age and realising that mistakes are part and parcel of the game, and realising that it’s a mistake and you’re going to learn from it. So my advice would be if you make a goalkeeping mistake in training, make sure the next exercise or repetition you do is correct. Try not to let your emotions override your body because then you’ll get caught up in overthinking things. In terms of games, if you make a mistake in a game, it’s then very very easy to try and chase the game and try and make up for that mistake, y’know, come for a cross that you normally wouldn’t under normal circumstances; try an unbelievable pass that just isn’t on; try and come for a through ball that you’re never going to get to. So just keep trust in yourself, stay relaxed and keep faith in your ability and remember the sessions and the coaching you’ve had up to this point and just roll with each inpidual circumstance.”


Dan - ‘That’s great advice, it’s important that we realise that everyone makes mistakes and particularly from a goalkeeping perspective, inpidual errors are highlighted a million times more than an outfield player. The next question is a very interesting one, over the years and the different clubs and kits you’ve worn, is there a favourite goalie shirt and a least favourite goalie shirt, and do you have any input in the design and colour of them?’


John - “My favourite one that I’ve worn is probably last season’s at Wolves, it was light blue, which is my favourite colour and I really liked it, it was a really nice design. The worst one I wore was, and it probably comes as no surprise, the highlighter pen pink that I wore at Norwich, and I would just like to clear the record, I did pick that that kit, but I picked it off a piece of paper, so it was a drawing, and the drawing was a lot darker and a lot more rose should I say and less like a highlighter pen. When it came it was a shock to not just me, but the kit man as well at how bright it was. So yeah that was probably the worst one.”


Dan - ‘The next one is a tough one. If you could only win one in your playing career, which would it be out of the Premier League, Champions League or the world cup?’


John - “World Cup, because that’s representing your country on the biggest stage and you’ve won the biggest competition in football.”


Dan - ‘ I would agree, that would be mine if I was a professional footballer, I’d want to represent my country and the world cup is the pinnacle of that. The next one is : Many footballers have superstitions, do you have any?’


John - “I’ve been asked this before, and the more I think about it the more it seems that I do. But I don’t think they are superstitions I think they are just habit. Predominantly I will put on my right boot first then my left but I think it’s just because I’m right footed. I put on my left glove first because we shake hands with the right hand and then I will walk to the edge of the box and then turn around and walk back to the half way line before kick off. So yeah I suppose they are superstitions but it’s a weird one because I don’t think I’m consciously doing it but I probably am.


Dan - ‘Have you got any dressing room secrets of anyone that does anything strange?’


John - “What’s becoming increasingly popular is walking out last, you sort of have three or four players stood at the door waiting for everyone else to go. But no real strange ones to be fair, quite disappointing.”


Dan - ‘ Next question is what is your favourite ground that you’ve played at?’


John - “Old Trafford, a little bit due to the fact that I was a Man Utd supporter growing up but mostly because the ground is just phenomenal, even just driving up to it and seeing how imposing it is. You get next to it when you’re on the bus and it is just massive, and anyone that’s been there will know what I’m talking about and you can see why opposition teams are intimidated by it because it is just such an arena, beautiful.”


Dan - ‘When you finish playing, do you want to be a coach or a manager or is there something else you’ve got planned?’


John - “I’m not sure yet, I’d like to do my coaching badges so I can have them for when and if I feel that I’d like to go into it. But I’d like to play until I’m fourty, that’s the aim, so that’s another seven years. Seven years is a long time and you never know what’s going to happen so I think if I have my badges in there and ready then it’s an easier transition to go from playing and into that rather than playing and then stopping and then having to do the badges. That is the idea but it would definitely be more goalkeeper coaching that I’d be into. It something that I’m more passionate about and so I feel like I would have more about me as a coach as opposed to outfield coaching.”


Dan - ‘What are your top tips for players; your take home message?’


John - “Never let anyone question your work rate. As long as you’re working to 100% of your ability no one will ever be able to question you. The other one is to never stop learning. I’m nearly 34 and I’m still learning every single training session. And I will continue to learn right up to the day I finish, and once I finish, I will hopefully help other people learn.”


Thanks John!




Watch the IGTV video of Dan and John’s chat on Instagram @futurefootballelite

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