Mings Almost Gave Up Football
Saturday, 13th Jul 2013 06:00
Defender Tyrone Mings has revealed that he almost gave up football last summer while playing in non-league. Fortunately, the 20-year-old, who is in the Town squad for this afternoon’s friendly at his old club Chippenham Town, decided to stick with it and in December got his big break when he joined the Blues after impressing manager Mick McCarthy during a trial.
Having started his first pre-season as a professional player with Town, Mings looks back on a very different summer a year ago: “Last pre-season I was contemplating whether to come back and play football or not because of what I was doing at the time and football was a bit more of a hobby rather than a job.
“I was living with my Dad and I was working long hours in an office and I couldn’t drive at the time, so I couldn’t really get to Yate, where I was playing. So I was considering whether not to play for a few months and see what happens. But in the end I stuck with it and here I am.
“I was at Yate for 15 or 16 months and I started last season at Yate. I’d done two or three sessions at Yate and played a couple of games and then moved to Chippenham in September and then came here in the first week of December.”
Mings, who made his senior Town debut at Burnley on the final day of last season, is looking forward to being part of the Town squad which travels to Hardenhuish Park for this afternoon’s friendly (KO 1pm), which was arranged as part of the deal which saw him move to Portman Road.
“It’ll be good to see a few familiar faces, but in terms of the game in general it’ll be a difficult one,” he says.
“Obviously you want to go out there and win, but it’s not going to be a strong side, so it’ll just be enjoyable for everyone, I think.”
Although he only spent a couple of months of last season as a player at Chippenham, he and his family have strong links with the Calor Gas League Southern Premier Division club: “My Dad [Adie] was the manager for four or five seasons and then at the beginning of last season he went and took a role as the director of football at Chippenham.
“But a month into that he got a call from Chelsea and he’s now a scout there. I moved to Chippenham just after he left completely.
“The club means a lot to the family because he was a player there as well. He had two spells there as a player and I used to go and watch pretty much every game being from Chippenham when I was younger, and I kind of know every single person there. The family have got a lot of connections.”
The left-back or centre-half isn’t the only Town employee with links with Chippenham: “Russell Osman’s son Toby plays for them, which is part of the reason I’m here, I guess, because of that connection. It’ll be good to see him as well.”
Mings says that not too many of his team-mates from last season are still with the club nicknamed the Bluebirds, but knows where the main threat will come from: “They’ve got a big lad up front, I’d probably say Alan Griffin is the man to watch out for.”
He says he's glad to be back in action and enjoying his first pre-season as a professional: “It’s good to be back in the swing of things, it’s good to be playing again and it’s good to get some minutes under my belt.
“I’ve played 45 minutes at centre-back and 45 minutes at left-back and am thoroughly enjoying it.
“[The week in Ireland] was tough, obviously the game at the end was tough because of the heat and it was our first game back, but the week in general was really good.
“It was nice to be away. It’s nice to get my first pre-season under my belt and it was nice to be away with the boys.”
Regarding his aims for 2013/14, he says he’ll be looking to add to his impressive debut at Turf Moor: “Just to play as many games as I can. See what happens, what the manager’s thoughts are going into the season and just play as many games as I can and look to impress the manager.”
Mings is the only member of the senior squad making the trip to Wiltshire with Mark Kennedy in charge of what will be an U21 side.
Photo: Action Images
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