We believe that there is nothing more inspirational to our players than a story from someone who lived through the struggles and all the hardship before they become successful. The journey is never easy but in some cases is all worth. Taking time form his busy schedule, we had the privilege to interview our first goalkeeper, Freddy Hall. From club soccer to college and then pro, we would like to share with you Freddie’s answers. We believe that every great team needs an awesome goalkeeper to save them and always keep them in the game.
WGP: 1. Briefly tell us a bit about yourself and how you started playing professionally?
Freddy: I started from a young age playing football (soccer) in Bermuda and traveling to Europe to play in tournaments. From traveling and seeing the level I always aspired to play professional, I soon realized I had to leave Bermuda to achieve this goal of mine. I was able to go abroad to prep school and college which motivate me to pursue my dreams even more. I had oppertunities to go on trials when I was younger and in college but my mother always insissted I must finish my education first. Those experiences helped me alot on the mental side of the game. When I finished school I got the opportunity to play in the PDL league and after got the chance to go to England and got offered my first contract at Northampton Town after a few weeks of training.
WGP: 2. Do you enjoy playing soccer now as you did when you were younger?
Freddy: I strongly believe if I didn’t enjoy it then it wouldn’t make any sense doing it now. From a young age I remember the joy it brought to me and the amount of hours I put in just throwing a ball against a wall and practicing my technique. As I have gotten older I think I enjoy it differently then when I was younger. Now all the football related things I do (training, matches etc.) have become a sense of therapy. In the sense that when I am doing anything football related my head is clear and my soul focus is to just enjoy the moment without worrying about anything else.
WGP: 3. Are you striving to succeed or to avoid failure?
Freddy: I wouldn’t say I am doing either. I am living the dream I have had since, I was a young boy. I am doing what I have said I wanted to do and I am thankful for the opportunities that I have gotten because I know a lot of people that would love to be where I am.
WGP: 4. Do you have any specific plans, strategies or rituals before playing the game?
Freddy: In college I used to be big on having a snickers before every game. But now I just simply listen to some music and mentally prepare and focus.
WGP: 5. What does competition means to you?
Freddy: Competition means a lot to me, as a goalkeeper I am very competitive. Especially in training, I don’t want anyone to score so I like to talk trash to the players. Also, training with other goalkeepers it’s always a great challenge to have. That competitiveness drives me to work even harder as the other goalkeepers push me and vice-versa.
WGP: 6. What are the most valuables lessons you’ve learned from soccer so far?
Freddy: I think the most important lesson is that “you can’t take your foot off the gas.” Once you get complacent than you will miss oppertunities. You can’t just be happy with where you are at, you have to always want more.
WGP: 7. How important is the recovery process after a game?
Freddy: When I was younger my body could just bounce right back so it wasn’t a issue. But as you get older you have to take care of yourself even more. Recovery is key to being consistent. Also, knowing your own body and not pushing yourself past certain limits it’s important.
WGP: 8. What’s your most memorable highlight of your career so far?
Freddy: That’s a hard question. I have a few appearances representing my country when going to Wembley. One of my proudest moments was playing against Liverpool in a friendly match. At the time I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal. Soon enough, everyone else made me realize not many people get a chance to play against a European elite team such as Liverpool.
WGP: 9. What motivates you and keep you going especially thru hard times?
Freddy: I think my strongest support is the system. I have a good group around me. In football you experience many highs but just as many lows. Having a family and close friends that are always there and believe in me it’s important. Feeling all that positive vibe around me, helps me stay focused. As I have gotten older, coming from a small island of Bermuda and seeing kids aspiring to be in my shoes is something that keeps me going. I don’t want to let them down.
WGP: 10. What advise do you have for players who dream to play in college or at the professional level?
Freddy: I just will simply say that it doesn’t matter how good you think you are, there is always somone better. You have to be willing to put in the work outside of training, and if you really want it, live a life that will make it easier for you to get it. There are very few players in the world today that didn’t put in extra work and achieved greatness. The two best players on the planet at the moment, Ronaldo and Messi have put in countless hours perfecting their profession.
Thank you Freddy and we wish you the best of luck in the near future.