Age: 27 years old.
Height: 5ft 10in.
Position: Right back.
Current club: Guiseley AFC
Former Clubs: Manchester City, Grimsby Town (loan), Aberdeen (loan), Derby County (loan), Chesterfield (loan), Panetolikos, Stockport County, Rochdale, Tamworth and Wrexham.
Ever wondered what it’s like to rise through the ranks at a top Premier League side? Well, defender Javan Vidal knows the feeling all too well, as he progressed through Manchester City’s youth system for many years before signing his first professional contract in May of 2007. Following various loan spells at lower league clubs, Vidal went on to make his senior debut for City in a League Cup tie against West Brom on the 22nd of September 2010. He also made the subs bench for a Premier League match against Arsenal. He also represented his country (England) at under 19 and under 20 level, so he is no stranger to playing under pressure.
Arguably though, following his release from his contract at City in 2012, it is the physical nature and the intensity of playing in the Conference League’s that has turned him into the quick, strong and agile defender that he is today. He first played for Tamworth (from August 2014-May 2015) and became a regular in their starting eleven, making 25 appearances for the club. He then joined Wrexham, where he once again impressed under manager Gary Mills and became a favourite among many fans there. Since last summer, he’s been plying his trade at Guiseley and is looking to pick up where he left off at the Racecourse by continuing his good form.
Truth be told, anyone that is familiar with the National League will know that Vidal is one of the best and most consistent defenders in there nowadays. AFEFootballNews’ got in touch with the man himself via Instagram and asked him a couple of questions. Here’s what Javan had to say …
AFE: Simple one first as always, what made you want to become a footballer then Javan?
JV: As a kid that’s all I used to do, then when I one day realised I was better than most of my peers and had a real chance of making a career out of it, that’s when I decided that it was what I wanted to do.
AFE: You came through the youth system at Manchester City, how was that experience for you? And who were the biggest names around at the time?
JV: It was good. I was well looked after and Stuart Pearce was in charge of the first team (youth) at the time. It wasn’t easy when the new owners came in as that clashed with the time that I was breaking through but I still remained there and made the first team bench for a Premier League match against Arsenal under Mark Hughes who was keen on me and even handed me my debut against West Brom in the League Cup. There were some big names around when Mancini came in as manager, Robinho, Tevez, Adebayor, Vieira, Balotelli, too many to name really!
AFE: Plenty of talent then! Who was your footballing idol when growing up and why?
JV. I never really had one sole ideal. I’m a United fan and although I spent most of my career at City and hold respect for the club, I enjoyed watching United as often as I could. Watching the United side of 99′ probably hold my fondest memories, and I started my career as a striker and scored quite a lot of goals so I kind of tried to mimmic and follow Andy Cole a lot when growing up.
AFE: What would you say has been your biggest achievement in football to date?
JV: It would have to be when I represented my country at under 20 level which was a great moment. I’d also put playing for City’s first team, as well as making the bench for a Premier League game right up there too.
AFE: How was it playing for Wrexham at the Racecourse? It’s a pretty special atmosphere isn’t it?
JV: It was great, the fans there definitely give you a lift and get you through tough times. They are like the 12th man for sure and are up there with the best fans, if not THE best fans I’ve played in front of.
AFE: Finally, who was the best player you’ve played alongside?
JV: I’ll go with Daniel Sturridge on this one.
Cheers for the chance to talk to you Javan, it’s been interesting learning a little about life as a Premier League youth player. All the best to you and Guiseley with the rest of the season!
All pictures collected from a google search of the player’s name and in no way belong to AFEFootballNews.