Name: Lee Croft
Date of Birth: 21/06/1985
Club: Oldham Athletic
Previous Clubs: Manchester City, Norwich City, Derby County, Huddersfield Town (loan), St Johnstone (loan).
What do you remember about your first ever match?
First ever professional match - my debut for Manchester City, against Bolton Wanderers. I can't remember much but what I do remember is Steve McManaman looking for me straight away and passing me the ball to calm my nerves.
Who was your childhood hero?
Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler. When I broke into the team at City they were both there, so that was good.
When did you realise you had a chance to progress in the game?
I think when I was at City. I joined them when I was 12 and the youth coaches were very good, they always filled you with a lot of confidence and said if you work hard you can get places. I progressed into the England youth teams and I always had confidence I would make it.
Which coach has had the biggest influence on your career?
Growing up, I'd say Paul Power, who used to pick me up from school every day to take me to the academy. We used to train in the afternoons every day during high school and he was a big part of my progression.
What did you spend your first wage packet on?
Some rascal gear.
Does your squad number have a special meaning to you?
Yeah, it does - number seven is one of my lucky numbers. I had it at Norwich and Derby as well. I like number seven and I supposed it's a lucky number for me.
Who did you last swap shirts with?
Leighton Baines, in the FA Cup replay against Everton this season.
How has the game changed for the better since you became a pro?
It has always been good; I'm not sure how it has changed for the better. I think there are a lot of good players throughout the divisions and the Premier League, especially, attracts a lot of top talent from around the world. I'd say it has just improved quality-wise.
If you could have coached yourself when you were a teenager, what advice would you have passed on?
Practice your heading.
If you stay in the game at the end of your career, what will you do? a) Manager b) Coach c) Scout d) Physio e) Pundit?
I'd say either a pundit or a coach. I don't think I'd like the stress of managing. I don't know whether I'd like to coach kids and watch them develop or whether I'd like to coach in a first team, but I definitely want to stay in football.
What do you want to be best remembered for at the end of your career?
Probably just a player with a good career, and someone who gave everything for all the teams he played for. And someone who provided people with some good memories.
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