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Interview with the Keepers

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Bury Football Club shares an entertaining chat with the Little & Large of Bury FC…. goalkeepers Brian ‘The Beast’ Jensen and Reice Charles-Cook.

A footballer begins by playing in the garden or the playground for fun. Can you describe what’s it’s like playing the game for money?
BJ: When you are young and you are playing the game you are just playing for the sheer fun of it. When you make it as a professional playing for money, it’s a funny thing.
RCC: When I was a scholar and I received my first pay cheque I thought to myself I love this, I want a lot more of this. It’s great getting paid for something that you really love to do!

When you were young, did you and your parents think there was a realistic possibility of you playing professionally?
RCC: Yes; I was just 3 years old.
BJ: My parents never really saw me play until I was about 18 years old as neither of them liked football. I more or less made it by myself. Later on in life they began to follow me and have continued to follow my career.

Do you remember the first time you signed an autograph for a fan?
BJ: Yeah I do. It was a little bit of a misshit though, I signed one to Peter Schmeichel just for a bit of banter but he didn’t take it how I hoped he would.
RCC: Yes, it was a reserve game when I was at an Arsenal. We’d just come off the bus and I saw all the rest of the team signing autographs so I thought I’d get involved, even though I hadn’t played
BJ: Did you even have a signature?
RCC: No…I just made it up. I just scribbled it so it would look more professional and added a fake number to it because I hadn’t even been assigned a squad number at that point.

Professional footballers don’t simply compete they compete against one another. How does competition among players for limited positions affect the team spirit in the side?
BJ: You’re talking to goalkeepers here! It’s the famous goalkeepers union. We have a lot of banter but at the same time you do need that element of competition.
RCC: For me having someone like Brian around is great because he’s teaching me whilst he’s continuing to learn. He’s been in the game for years, he made his professional debut before I was even born.
BJ: That makes me feel so old!

If you could change one thing about the game what would it be?
BJ: Everything has changed so much and people just keep trying to continue to change elements of the game, but I think there comes a time when you have to stop.
RCC: I have one thing…I consider myself to be half decent on the pitch, so I would like the managers to have faith in the goalkeepers so that the likes of myself could come onto the pitch one day as an outfield player. I will score a hat-trick one day! I’ve done it in training before and I think I’d be able to do it on a match day. So to Bury’s new manager if you are reading this…..if you ever need a goal in the last 10 minutes then I’m your man!
BJ: That is what I’d change in the game…over confidence!


What is the best piece of advice you’ve received, and what was the source of that advice?
RCC: I got mine from Brian and it was ‘Don’t let Fred Barber (Bury’s goalkeeping coach) break you!’. It’s so bad; the amount of times I have ran to the gate since I’ve been here over the course of three months is ridiculous. I’ve been close to breaking but Brian has been there with little words in my ear because he knows what Fred is like having previously worked together. So that’s definitely the best piece of advice that I have been given.
BJ: That’s my advice, if you work hard it’ll pay off.

When you’re on the cusp of death looking back on your life, what do you hope to see?
RCC: That’s a very good question! I would really like one of those statues of myself outside a football ground.
BJ: What like the Michael Jackson one down at Fulham? (Reice looks at Brian in dismay)
RCC: I’ve actually seen a spot just outside the ground a Gigg Lane where I wouldn’t mind one, just in front of the entrance where the media come in, I’d really like a statue there.
BJ: Can I have one next to him? It’ll just need to be a little bit bigger though.

Who’s the better goalkeeper of the two of you?
BJ: Reice
RCC: I’d say me as well (he says smiling)

Who’s the better looking of the two of you?
RCC: I’m taking that one as well
BJ: (Laughs) Obviously not have you seen this face!

It’s Movember next month are you growing a moustache?
BJ: He can’t (pointing at Reice)
RCC: He’s right. I’m 19 years old and I’ve tried every method in the book. Every morning I look in the mirror and I still don’t have even a strand of hair on my face. Seriously this is one for all the readers; if you know of a method or can find a method to grow facial hair then please let me know because I can’t keep being told that I look 14 years old. All I want is a little bit of facial hair that’s all I ask!


RCC: Pulp Fiction
BJ: Everybody always says Shawshank Redemption so I’ll try something different. I’ll go with 7.
BJ: I have never read one, what’s a book?
RCC: Horrid Henry – it’s seriously one of the best books I have ever read!
BJ: Horrid Henry…… Hmmmm that’s my sons favourite as well…he’s 7.
BJ: Salad (shaking his head )
RCC: Chicken tagliatelle
BJ: Iron Bru (spoken in a Glaswegian accent)
RCC: Coke
BJ: Blue
RCC: I’m a Chelsea fan so Blue
TV Show…
RCC: Luther
BJ: Lie to Me


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