Matchfit Interviews James McClean
Image: PA Archive/PA Images
Republic of Ireland international and West Brom midfielder James McClean describes the advice and training habits which have enabled him represent his country at both Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 whilst performing at the top level of English football week-in week-out.
What is your favourite pre-match meal?
I like to keep light and not eat too much, so I will have an omelette with chicken and spinach, followed by a bowl of porridge with peanut butter, jam, banana and some granola oats.
How many times per week do you do extra training outside of your normal team training?
I am fitness mad and actually enjoy it, I feel it’s a great way to relax and just be by yourself, it might sound mad but that’s how it is to me. So, it’s very rarely that I will ever take a day off.
Which extra training method do you think has given you the biggest improvement in performance?
My core and leg work. People obsess over having bigger upper bodies to be strong, but the core is where all your strength comes from so you if you have a strong core you’re going to be hard to knock off the ball.
If you could offer one piece of advice to a young footballer who wants to become a pro, what would it be?
Believe in yourself and have a strong character, how you deal with rejection if there is any throughout your career is vital, and most importantly work harder than everybody else.
What is the best piece of advice a coach/role model has ever given you?
Work harder than everyone else and make sure you enjoy what you do.
When stepping up to first team level, what did you feel was the biggest difference between youth and senior football?
The rate at which you get punished for each mistake due to the quality of the players. Mistakes you would make as a youngster and get away with soon get punished, so you learn pretty quickly to cut them out.
Thankyou for taking the time to read James' answers and I would like to also thank James again for taking the time to answer our questions. The Matchfit team wish him all the best in his career.