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Tom Aldred

Just Unbelievable…

15/04/09 |

Youth Alliance Match: Carlisle United v Port Vale

Well, the weekend started rather badly for me for me this time, but it definitely got better as it went on!

I started the game for the Youth team against Port Vale on the Saturday morning but I didn’t last very long. I don’t often go off in a match but I got a bang on the head and I can’t tell you much about the game after that. In fact, I can’t tell you much about anything!

I went down a few seconds after it happened but I thought that I was ok. I stood up and the pitch turned blue and I knew straight away that something wasn’t right. I put my head down and started to feel a bit better but, when Geoff Haugh our Physio tried to help me off the pitch, I stumbled and my legs started to go. James Wood came on to help me to walk and I just felt awful.

Aldred leaves the pitch injured in Port Vale game

Greg Abbott, our first team manager, was watching the game so he took me back to the club. Our Head Physio had a look at me and I felt really tired and I was throwing up so he sent me off to hospital to get checked out.

I’ve heard that the lads did really well in the game. It was 1 – 0 to us when I went off, but I can’t remember us scoring. The team got a good 3 – 1 win though and it’s nice to be back on track.

My dad was there to watch the game and he took me home. I’d been told to rest but by the time I had a sleep I felt fine. I went out for a meal with my mates and it was good to be able to relax.

I made sure that I was in early because I had to meet my Youth team boss Eric Kinder at the railway station so that we could travel down to London for the Football League Awards night. We had a bit of a wander around when we got to the capital and I had another sleep before we made our way to the Grosvenor for the awards ceremony.

The hotel was unbelievable, really expensive, and two drinks cost us a massive £12. I couldn’t believe that – and neither could Eric – mind you, he is very careful with his money, so to speak.

The night itself was an unbelievable experience. Everything about it was brilliant. There were people all over the place that I recognised from TV, the food was unbelievable … it was a different world really.

We were sat at a table with Barry Fry from Peterborough, and a couple of people from Southampton, which was very entertaining and I was quite nervous if I’m honest.

Tom Aldred - League One Apprentice of the Year 2009

When I got there I obviously wanted to win it and pick up the award but with three other very good players in the running I honestly didn’t think that it would be me. When my name was read out it was unbelievable and it took me about 5 minutes to walk round to the stage… and it was just unbelievable.

I couldn’t really talk and my speech was a bit embarrassing. It was certainly different to have nearly 1000 people listening to your every word. From the stage I went off to do interviews with Sky Sports and the Football League. Mark Clemmit was there and he had interviewed me at Brunton Park the other week so it was good to know someone and he said he was happy for me. It was all just fantastic.

Grant Holt, who won League Two Player of the Year, came over and congratulated me. It was nice to get that kind of reaction off a senior pro. It was hard to take it all in and I couldn’t keep my face straight – I was smiling all the way home.

We stayed the night in London and came back up to Carlisle on the Monday afternoon, so it was Tuesday before I got back to see the rest of the lads. They were all pleased for me – and I would like to go on record to say that I owe all of this to them. They have been superb this season and without them, and the team spirit and work rate that we all show, then I wouldn’t have won this award.

In the gym

It’s back to training and working hard again now. We want to push on and end the season as high as we can in the table. The next game that I’ll be talking about is at home to Stockport County. We’ll be aiming for another three points and I’ll be aiming to stay on the pitch without getting injured!