Interview – Matty Pattison

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The United Mates Keitel and Joe are joined by former Newcastle United, Norwich City and South Africa international footballer Matty Pattison to chat about the ex-Bafana Bafana man’s playing career and his life these days off the pitch as a coach.

Icebreaker:

As Matty was playing for Newcastle United during the filming of the infamous football movie “Goal!”, the group name their favorite sporting films.

On Matty’s Early Life in South Africa and Moving to England:

Matty grew up in Johannesburg and began playing football at a young age. Both of his parents are from the Northeast of England and as his father was a Newcastle supporter Matty would often watch the Premier League on TV. When he was a child Matty was inspired by Kevin Keegan’s “Entertainers” and in particular looked up to Peter Beardsley because of his technical playing style.

When Matty was around 10 years old he moved back to the Northeast of England and began playing for the same local club that his father had played for when he was a child. Matty was eventually scouted by Newcastle United and after a successful 6 week trial he signed with the club. During his time at Newcastle he was managed by Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder.

Matty sadly lost his father during his time in Newcastle’s academy and on top of that back to back ACL tears threatened to end his playing career before it had even started. However, Glenn Roeder kept faith in Matty and reassured him of his future at the club.

Looney Toons:

Newcastle have had some notoriously hot headed players down the years. We chatted with Warren Barton about that Keegan “I will love it” moment; his namesake and ex-magpie Joey Barton was always a feisty character too and of course, who could forget the infamous Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer fight on the St. James’ Park pitch during a premier league game? So the name of the game is Looney Toons and Matty Pattison has to choose a 5-a-side team of his craziest ex-teammates. He even names a 6th one for us!:

Emre Belözoğlu
Joey Barton
Nicky Butt
Michael Owen
Laurent Robert
Lee Bowyer

On Playing for Newcastle:

Matty describes the dynamic and experience of playing for the club he grew up supporting. He admits that when it became his job and everyday life that he partly lost that edge of being a serious fan. On the pitch, Matty feels that being played as a left winger didn’t suit him at Newcastle as it exposed his lack of great pace. Matty gave a good account of himself the times that he wore the famous black and white stripes but he does wonder what might have become of his Newcastle career had he taken more risks on the ball during his appearances.

On Norwich City:

The late Glenn Roeder managed Matty at Newcastle in the Premier League and brought him to Norwich City in the EFL Championship on loan initially before making the signing permanent half way through the season. Matty had a good relationship with Roeder and his team mates too during his time at Carrow Road; he performed well on the pitch too, even managing to score in the “Old Farm” derby against rivals Ipswich Town.

Playing in South Africa and for Bafana Bafana:

Matty moved back to his home country and joined Mamelodi Sundowns who were then managed by the legendary Hristo Stoichkov. In the build up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa Matty was included in the provisional 29 man squad for the tournament but in the end he wouldn’t make the cut. He would also enjoy spells playing for Engen Santos and Bidvest Wits.

Matty made his debut for the South Africa national side after the World Cup and says that overall his time playing in his native country was the best of his career in many ways.

Return to English Football and Transition into Coaching:

The Northeast of England once again came calling and Matty signed for Gateshead in what would be his first taste of Non-League football. He would go on to play for Blyth Spartans, South Shields and Whickam (where he would also manage the side briefly) before returning to Gateshead, now with at least one of his boots firmly hung up and his eyes primarily on coaching the Gateshead academy.

Music from Lazy Daze:

Listen to Lazy Daze’s new single “What is Real?”!

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