The New Fabric Of England: Eric Dier by Aaron› 13 Sep 2010
The latest player to be featured as part of our New Fabric Of England squad is a little different to the rest, as he’s an Englishman abroad. Eric Dier grew up in England, but plays for Sporting Lisbon after his family moved out to Portugal when Eric was younger. Here he tells us what it’s like to play over their and his ambitions for the future…
How did it feel to be chosen as part of the new England campaign?
‘I was in England recently when I found out. I was really surprised to be honest, but really happy.’
What would you say is the biggest difference between Portugal and England?
‘The culture is completely different here in Portugal, they have a different attitude. I would say that the English are more aggressive maybe, more upfront, but in Portugal people are calmer.’
How did you get into football over in Portugal?
‘We moved here as a family when I was younger. My PE teacher at school used to work for Sporting as a scout, and as he still knew some people there he said that he’d take me along for training when I was eight. From then on, I’ve just gone through the different age groups up to now.
It’s a great club to be a young player, bringing players through the ranks is what they do – if you look at the first team, there’s always a group of players that have come through the Sporting academy.’
Would you say they have a different attitude to young players?
‘I’ve never played in England, so I’m not really sure how it works there, but here they don’t have the financial power to buy players. So instead of doing that, they bring players through their academy, and they’re good at it.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve improved a lot as a player. My Portuguese is pretty good as well – it’s probably better than my English! At first I went to an English school here in Portugal, so I didn’t learn it too well, but when I started to play for Sporting I really learnt a lot more. I know all the football terms perfectly!’
Is it true that Portugal have looked into you playing for their national team?
‘Yeah, they’ve been trying for a while. Because I’ve been living here so long, they’ve looked into me getting dual nationality, but I can only do that when I’m 18. I do consider myself English though because I was born there.’
What’s your ambitions on the pitch for this season?
‘This season I want to start playing for the U-19s, which is the junior team just below the first team. If I can cement a place there, I can be a step closer to the professionals.'
Which players have you admired as you’ve been growing up?
‘When I was younger I played more as a midfielder, and I always admired Roy Keane. Now I’m more of a defender, my favourite players are people like Vidic, Ferdinand and Pique.’
What do you think of the new England shirt?
‘I like it, it’s a good feeling to put it on. Hopefully I’ll get to do it again! I thought the design on the shoulder was quite cool as well, and it’s a nice idea behind it.’
If you were to choose your own design for the fabric, what would it be?
‘It’d have to be green, white and red – red and white for England, and then green for Sporting.’
Thanks to Eric for answering our questions. Today we’re also taking a closer look at another player in our New Fabric Of England squad…
He might never escape the headlines that will come with such a famous name, but the young Arsenal defender has certainly gone a long way towards making a name for himself. With great work-rate, strength and clinical distribution, the 18-year-old defender has all the required attributes of a modern-day full-back. Having made his debut for the first team in a Champions League match last season, Tom also played every minute of Arsenal’s Youth Cup campaign on the left of the defence during his first season as a professional.
To take a look at all the players we've chosen to make up the New Fabric Of England, head over to Umbro.com – there you’ll find the full squad of 23 promising youngsters we feel represent the future of English football.