MATCH caught up with Middlesbrough defender George Friend recently, and he told us all about the Boro dressing room...
GEORGE SAYS: “Gaston Ramirez is a very skilful player, but I’d have to go for Alvaro Negredo. He’s a big, tall, strong player but he’s got amazing feet. When we do little possession drills in training, he can make a fool out of a lot of people, including me!”
GEORGE SAYS: “Adama Traore, for sure. Even when he’s jogging, he’s still the fastest by miles! Adama’s the fastest player I’ve ever played with or against, and I think the Premier League’s seeing that now. I’d put myself in the top five at the club.”
GEORGE SAYS: “I would say Bernardo Espinosa – he’s from Colombia, but he speaks better English than some of the English lads! He’s very modest, but he has quite cultured conversations. He’s a very intelligent guy.”
DRESSING ROOM DJ!
GEORGE SAYS: “Viktor Fischer and Bernardo Espinosa – they both tend to pick the music. When Viktor signed, he brought in a speaker to the dressing room. They’ll play a bit of dance and house music, but I’m into country music and that never gets played!”
BEST FASHION SENSE!
GEORGE SAYS: “Viktor Fischer’s pretty on top of what he wears, too. He gets a bit of stick, but I think he looks quite smart. He’s got some nice leather jackets and stuff like that. He looks a bit like a pilot sometimes, but I think it works for him!”
WORST FASHION SENSE!
GEORGE SAYS: “Probably Adam Clayton! Only because he can look really smart one day in some nice fitted gear, then he’ll completely let himself down. There’s a lack of consistency! He wears some really ill-fitting tracksuits!”
GEORGE SAYS: “Daniel Ayala works very hard all the time – he’s always in the gym working on his fitness. Whenever he goes out he trains very hard. He’ll work on his heading a lot too, being a defender.”
GEORGE SAYS: “We don’t really have a worst trainer, but Adama Traore cuts it very fine when making it on time. He always seems to get there just on the dot, probably because he’s so fast! He’ll give himself like a minute to get out onto the training pitch once he arrives.”
George Friend was talking to MATCH at the 10th anniversary of the Premier League Kicks social inclusion programme. The Kicks Ambassador presented Middlesbrough FC Foundation participant-turned coach Jack Wilson with a bespoke Kicks Hero comic illustration to celebrate his contribution to the scheme.