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Friday, October 17, 2008

Theo Walcott Preferred Athletics to Football in His Childhood

After the emphatic hat trick against Croatia in England shirt, Theo Walcott has already become the new hero of English football. Moreover, winning a regular place in Arsene Wenger’s starting line up, Walcott has indicated his coming of age now. However, the Arsenal stalwart has recently said that it was not football which attracted him most in his childhood. Rather, he was very much interested to athletic, especially to 100 meter race. When he was 10, he started feeling interest to football, but his initial interest was to goalkeeping. Why? Because he wanted to be the hero by saving penalty shoot-outs!

Walcott played one season for A.F.C. Newbury, a club based in Newbury, Berkshire, and scored 100 goals for them in local league. That was, in fact, the breakthrough season for Walcott as his performance in AFC Newbury attracted Southampton and the rest is history. However, before signing a contract with Southampton, Walcott spent a very short time in Swindon Town.

Times Online reported:

"Football did not really interest me until I was ten, I did not even know it existed, it was funny really," Walcott said. "Athletics stood out for me when I was younger, I liked the 100 metres.

"When I did start playing football, I was in goal - and that was because I really loved the penalty shoot-outs, where I could save it and be the hero.

"Then I started playing for AFC Newbury, and scored more than 100 goals for them in just one season. It was basically just a long ball over the top and I would run on to it - I scored six in my first game.

"It was just natural for me, but although I was excited [after Southampton's interest], I was not really like, 'wow, I am going to be a professional footballer'.

"I just enjoyed playing and did not think I would be where I am now."

Theo Walcott came under lime light when he got a surprise call up for England’s 2006 world cup squad. However, England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson did not feature him in any of England’s match in the world cup tournament. Until last season, Theo Walcott was not assured of a regular place in Arsenal’s starting line up, but the 21-year-old winger has started most of Arsenal’s match so far this season which really indicate his coming of age.

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