Ollie Baines interviewed young Ipswich Town prodigy, Josh Emmanuel about his career ambitions and Christian faith.
Ipswich Town prodigy, Josh Emmanuel has been labelled as a future star for the Tractor Boys. The 18-year-old full back has been propelled into the lime-light at the Suffolk outfit and Ollie Baines caught up with the boy wonder.
Ollie: You’ve just signed a professional contract with Ipswich Town at just 18-years-old, what does that mean to you?
Josh: “Yeah amazing. I see it just as the start, hopefully there will be more things to come from this now if I can keep working hard.”
Ollie: Did you always know you were going to be a footballer?
Josh: “I think you always have to believe that you can do it. If you don’t believe it, then what’s the point of trying in the first place? Obviously with my faith as well, I want to be expectant that God will come through for me. So that was the main thing.”
Ollie: What was it like to make your debut for Ipswich Town?
Josh: “It was definitely a humbling experience for me. An interesting experience too. It was really good to just get started and obviously it being the first one I hope I can continue with more to come.”
Ollie: Josh, you were part of the Ipswich side to play Manchester United at Old Trafford in the League Cup this season. What was that like for you?
Josh: “It was incredible! You look up and see what seems like a billion faces watching you; it was more than you could even imagine. It was an amazing experience, but I just wish that more could have come of the result.”
Ollie: You said you looked up to the fans, do you often take note of fans watching or do you tend to blur them out?
Josh: “I do take note as a player yes. I like to take note of the fans, but that’s just me. Not every player does it. I feel like it relaxes me and helps me because I can soak up the atmosphere.”
Ollie: Do you have a role model as a full-back?
Josh: “Growing up, I didn’t really have a role model as such. Obviously as a football fan, I watched loads of games and the best teams but I never had anyone that I’d inspire to be like. I’m trying to mould myself as a player and play to my own strengths. Nowadays, I look up to players like Seamus Coleman at Everton or Dani Alves at Barcelona, but the main thing I think is trying to play in your own style.”
Ollie: Josh you’ve been labelled as a future star at Ipswich, how do you deal with that pressure?
Josh: I don’t really see it as pressure. It doesn’t really get to me, because for me, it’s just playing football. As a person who has a faith and believes in God, I use that to help me and give me strength.”
— Ipswich Town FC (@Official_ITFC) October 14, 2015
Ollie: How did you become a Christian?
Josh: “Yeah, well all of the thanks go to my parents to be honest! I was brought up in a Christian home and went to Church but I’d say that I really started to believe when I was about 14. That’s when I started thinking, ‘hang on, what’s this faith and what am I actually in this world to do?’. So that’s when I gave my life to God, started playing football and glorifying his name through it.
Ollie: How have you found your faith has impacted your football career?
Josh: “That’s a really good question. I of course take it with me. I guess I try and reflect my faith through the way I behave. I wouldn’t necessarily say I go and talk to anyone about it, of course I want to share my faith but I don’t want to impose it on anyone. I think it’s about showing it through football really, people ask you, ‘Josh, how are you doing this?’ and I just say that I give all the glory to God!”
Ollie: Best player you’ve ever played with?
Josh: “Oooh. That’s a tough one. I’ve played with some really good players but I think I’d have to say Ravel Morrison.”
Ollie: Best player you’ve played against?
Josh: “I played against some quality Chelsea boys when I was younger, but I think Kazenga LuaLua was a real challenge. Then there’s Andreas Pereira at Manchester United, he was really good.”
Ollie: What’s the best attribute to your game?
Josh: “My ability to defend and attack. It’s massive in today’s game to get forward and attack, but I think I’m a better defender, although sometimes I don’t show it because I’m bombing up the wing to get forward.”
Ollie: What does the future hold for Josh Emmanuel?
Josh: “Only God knows. I really don’t know. Obviously I would love to play at the highest level with Ipswich and of course, represent my country. You have to believe in your own ability and I believe if I work hard, God will help me get there.”