Sam Osbourne: Leamington memories, Dunkirk and the future

Credit: AFC Fylde

You signed for Leamington FC in 2020 and in 2021, you’ve just signed for AFC Fylde. How did you enjoy your time at Leamington FC?

From the start you can tell what type of club Leamington FC is just by walking in and the way that everybody is with you. I absolutely loved my time at the club and I learned from all of the staff and players. Leamington FC is a class club all round. The club has got a family vibe and you can tell that everyone knows each other around the club. There are no ego’s and things are very straight forward. Leamington FC are a quality club really.

Credit: Leamington FC

You played a season at Dunkirk FC. How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any highlights or special memories?

Yes definitely. I had been at the club as a little boy from the age of four years old and there were the first ever club that I played for and I had a break when I went over to Burton Albion as a schoolboy and getting released from a club like Burton Albion at the age of 15 was a bit of culture shock as it is every kids dream to be a footballer and growing up through school you think that is all you are going to do and I was told that I would be released from the club in my final year of school and then returning to a club like Dunkirk FC who I have history with having played for the club.

I went and enjoyed my football and I think looking back on my career that it was one of the best things to ever happen to me going back to Dunkirk FC and almost reinventing myself as a player and enjoying football and getting to where I want to be and Dunkirk FC is another club which has got a massive pathway for lads in developing players and they are also another brilliant club. At one point I was playing under 16, under 18 , under 19 , reserves and the first team and I would be playing five games a week so without Dunkirk FC I would not be where I am today really.

You came through the youth setup and went on to make first team appearances for Notts County. How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any special memories or highlights?

Credit: Notts County Football Club

I was a Notts County for five and a half years all together and I will be forever grateful to the club for giving me my first shot and my professional debut in football away at Morecambe FC so it is always something that will stick with me. I was born and I am a Nottingham lad and Notts County is a Nottingham club and it meant a lot to play for them.

I have family members and friends that support the club and to play for the club gave me a really good feeling to be part of it and in and around the club. I debuted for the club at the age of 17 and that really was a dream come true and I have never been with the first team before and to travel down on the Friday night, stay in a hotel and make my debut on the Saturday was fantastic.

I can imagine in your position as a midfielder that you have come up against many difficult opponents so far in your career, could you say which opponents have stood out for you in terms of talent and ability?

Already in my career I have come up against some very experienced opponents and I take my hat off to the players I have faced that have hundreds of league appearances under their belt.

One of the best games that I have ever been involved in was just only last month with Leamington FC 3-0 down at half time against local rivals Alfreton Town at home which is viewed as a big game and coming back to win 4-3 including scoring goals in the 87th and 90th minute and to be involved in that and managing to get a few goals and assists as well was massive and it was also our first win of the season and what our manager Paul Holleran had to say at half time obviously worked.

Finally Sam, could you say who are the coaches and managers who have meant a lot to you and played a key role in your development as a professional footballer so far in your career?

The coaches at Dunkirk FC really changed my game and took me from a young lad and really helped me out. It stems from them really then going on to Notts County and having countless coaches and managers that I owe a lot of time to.

My youth team managers throughout on to under 23 managers and it just ticks it off with my former manager at Leamington FC Paul Holleran who helped me out tremendously and believed in me really. I think that everyone wants someone to believe in them and feel wanted and that is exactly what he was able to do for me.

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