Catching up with Joshua King
Posted by nickogs20 on June 28, 2010
While the World Cup is dominating the headlines and club news is thin on the ground, the start of pre-season training is nearly upon us and we’ve been alerted to an interview that promising United striker Joshua King has given back in his native Norway ahead of his return to Manchester. Joshua talks about his time with the Reds so far, his first-team debut last season, how he’s been spending his summer and plenty more.
Credit to Groruddalen’s Kenneth Fossheim for the interview and Preben for the translation.
In his two years at Manchester United, Joshua King has matured both as a footballer and as a person. Now, he’s ready to take the next step with the Red Devils.
– “I’m really satisfied with life in Manchester, and professionally at Manchester United. But it’s of course been a tremendous help having my mum with me for the first few years.”
This summer though, King’s mum is going back to Norway on a permanent basis, and young Joshua will have to take care of himself while seeking the ultimate dream of a professional career at one of the worlds biggest clubs.
Since Josh made his move at the tender age of 16, a lot has happened to his physique as well. The small kid is now 6″1, and he’s really well built.
– “We train from 10 am to Noon, then we have lunch together, before we have another session in the afternoon”, he says.
Josh has had quite a few injuries over the last season, including both his ankles and his groin. Those injuries has given him the opportunity to spend a lot of hours in the gym.
– “It might have been a blessing in disguise to have been injured. It’s enabled me to spend a lot of time in the gym, and my physique has really improved which is a big help. The English game is so physically demanding, and I really need every ounce of body weight to be competitive.”
On the field, Joshua has been playing for Manchester United’s U-18s. He’s also had some appearances for the reserves, and he got his reward for his good form when he came on as a sub in the League Cup against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
– “The tempo in England is a lot higher than what it is in Norway. At the same time the opponents are a lot stronger, and you really have to be on top form. But, I believe in myself, and in my abilities.”
When Joshua’s mother leaves this summer, he’s got to live on his own.
– “I think I’ll be fine, I’m a good chef, so I think I’ll manage just fine!”
Joshua quit school when he left for Manchester. Nonetheless the club is giving him the opportunity to attend school.
– “I’ve been attending school two times a week, for the last two years, but I finished that this spring”, he says.
When moving to another country the language will always be a problem at first.
– “The language has been no problem at all. In fact I’ve got a lot of praise for my English. That’s down to all my travels to Gambia as a kid, I didn’t speak the language, and therefore I had to speak English.”
King is born in Oslo, his mother is Norwegian, while his father is from Gambia. Just like a certain John Carew.
At the moment King is in Norway on holiday, but he’s still training very hard.
– “I train at the Norwegian Olympic Center with Norway’s fastest sprinter, Jaysuma N’dure, and his coach. Coming back to England in anything else than top shape is just not a option whatsoever.”
In September last year, his boyhood dream was fulfilled when he replaced Danny Welbeck 9 minutes from time in the League Cup.
– “That was a magnificent day, I was very nervous but I think I did just fine.”
– “Many people will say that I’m living the dream, but I really don’t think they know how tough this is. But you know, I can’t complain, I’m making a living doing what I enjoy the most in the whole world”, he says.
Even though Joshua is just 18 years old, he’s already trained and played with some of the best players in the world.
– “Paul Pogba, and Magnus Eikrem are the two best players I’ve played with in the Reserves. Anderson on the other hand is the most fun off the pitch.”
Even though he lives a long way from his native Romsås, he still keeps in contact with his buddies from school.
– “We talk all the time, and I’m with them all the time when I’m home on vacation.”
Jim Solbakken is King’s agent, and he thinks Joshua can go just as far as he wants.
– “He can go very far, but if he gets sloppy, he might not make it at all. Joshua has been very lucky that his mother has been living with him now in the start, and that’s helped him a lot through the hard period of training he’s had over the last years.”