The latest athletic English full-back to make an impact on
the Premier League, Andre Wisdom has become a Liverpool fans' favourite
since making his debut for the club earlier this season. Recently
signing a new contract at the club, Andre has also been named as part of
the England under-21 squad for their game against Sweden next week. As
he's been doing all of this while wearing Umbro boots, we thought this
would be a great time to chat to the Leeds-born defender about his
career so far, so we invited him down to our Dale St office for a quick
chat. Here's what Andre had to say about his progress so far, his
England experiences and why he thinks he'd be the Liverpool sprint
What was it like to make your debut for Liverpool earlier this season, and to score in the same game?
'That was a great day, not just to play for Liverpool but to score and then to win the game, it couldn’t have been better. I found out the night before the game that I would be playing, and I was just so pleased to be given the opportunity. When I scored it was mad, I didn’t know what to do! I didn’t have a celebration planned or anything, because I wasn’t really expecting it. It’s a great feeling though.'
At international level, you've been part of the England set up at
many different levels, what influence do you think that's had on your
'Being part of that England set up through the different
years has been great, I was part of the U17s team that won the European
Championships and we still talk about that to this day. You get to know the
other lads really well and we’ve been mates outside of football now for a long
time. When you’re playing against different countries
and different styles of football, it makes you a better player, and like I said
earlier you get to travel and meet new people as well. You get great exposure
to what it means to play at that level, in front of opposition fans and with
all the hostile atmosphere of those grounds which means we improve as people
and players. So when you go there with your club as I’ve done, you can just get
your head down and concentrate on your job.'
You've had a great season so far with Liverpool, what are your ambitions for the remaining four months?
'Just to play as many games as possible, and to keep improving in the games I play in. That’s all I can do really, be willing to learn from the players around me, to focus on the positive and to improve on the negative. As a defender, to be playing alongside the likes of Agger, Skrtel and Carragher at Liverpool is a great experience. They’ve won the Champions League, different leagues around the world, and it’s great exposure to play with them, to learn from them and to try and achieve as much as them.'
Andre, you were born in Leeds, started playing at Bradford City and now you're at Liverpool – so who do you support?
'Well, I grew up watching all sorts of football, but I
wouldn’t say that I support one particular team to be honest. But when Bradford got through to
the cup final last week, I was definitely cheering them on. It’s such a great
achievement for the club, I’m really pleased for them. I think it’ll be a good
final as well, Swansea are a good team so I’ll be looking forward to watching
What about if Bradford were playing Leeds, who would you be cheering on then?
'It’d be Bradford, because I played for them. Even though I’m a Leeds lad, I think I’d have to support the team that gave me my chance in football. I started there when I was 14 I think, and the changeover was so quick, going from playing with my mates to where I am now where it’s a job. It’s definitely still as much fun as when I started, and now I get to travel the world, play in great stadiums against great teams, so I feel very lucky. It’s been a great experience.'
You're obviously a pretty quick player, but where do you think you stand at your club?
'Well, Glen Johnson is pretty quick but I think I could take him… he’s quick, Rahem’s quick, there’s a lot of fast players at the club. But I think I’d be up there – put a dog behind me and I know I’d be the fastest!'
You play with the number 47 on your shirt, is there a reason behind that particular number?
'It was just given to me, but to be honest I quite like it. I’m not
superstitious about stuff like that, but I like that so I think I’ll stick with
it. Just to be on the pitch is great for me, if I had to wear number 600 I’d be
I hear that you're a fan of boxing and UFC, do you think you'd ever take them up as a sport when you retire from football?
'You know what, that’s a good shout! I can see myself doing that, you never know! I’ve got a punchbag in my house, and that gets a lot of practice, I like watching that and UFC at home. I'm happy with football for now though!'
Thanks to Andre for answering our questions - he'll be wearing the
new Speciali 4 boots for this weekend's league game against Manchester