INTERVIEW | Meet Adam Anson

INTERVIEW | Meet Adam Anson

Adam Anson says that there were ‘no questions’ in his mind when he was offered the chance to join Southport back in January.

The centre back signed from Witton Albion and made his Port debut against Kidderminster in March, after a short loan spell back at Wincham Park.

Anson states: “The gaffer at Witton rang me up one Sunday out the blue saying, ‘Southport have put a bid in for you,’ so after that there was no question about it.”

The 23-year-old was only just settling into life with the Sandgrounders when the UK entered lockdown.

“It has been a good start, but a very weird one at the same time. During the first training session everyone made me feel dead comfortable, I knew quite a few of the lads before coming in, so there were some familiar faces which is always nice when you go into a new club.”

His only appearance came in what would become Southport’s final game of the 2019/20 Vanarama National League North campaign.

Despite only having one game under his belt, the 23-year-old enjoyed his taste of match action at the Pure Stadium.

“I got that (buzz that) comes from being in front of a crowd and having that atmosphere, it spurs you on to do more. After that first game I wanted to go again the week after, and the week after that, so now I’m just looking forward to getting back into it, whenever that may be.”

This was not the first time he’d been on the field at Haig Avenue, having appeared in a pre-season friendly during his time at Wigan Athletic.

“It was when they had the old stand, so it was a lot different because they’ve spent a lot of money on the ground and I’m very impressed with facilities. Of course, the fans are also nice and loud, which is what you want, because you need them to be the twelfth man.”

Anson admits he is looking forward to playing under Liam Watson and has already begun to learn from his new manager.

“You can see his work ethic and that every point matters. From the short time I have been at the club I can see his philosophy and I will adapt my game to that. The more work I do the more natural it will be.”

He continues: “In my first session we did have a bit of a tiff when he had a go at me for passing back to the keeper. He wants to get the ball forward as quick as possible and if I put the keeper under pressure then it is my fault. It was something we talked about because he wants to improve my game.”

The centre back believes he can fit Watson’s model of player and wants to do his best for the side.

“I knew (Liam) Watson was looking for players who were young and hungry, and I feel I bring that. After having setbacks from being released with Wigan, I want to prove people wrong. He wants people who have something to prove and who will fight for the club, not just bystanders who are happy to pick up a wage.”

So far this transfer window, Southport have added Marcus Carver and Matt Challoner to their ranks, with Anson looking forward to linking up with his players who he knows from his time with Chorley.

“I’m very excited, they are two real good signings. They’re two good mates of mine and will bring two completely different things to the side.”

He believes that Marcus Carver will be a great addition to the Port attack and will add some more firepower.

“He has a proven track record. He’s someone you love having in your team but hate playing against. He’s nasty, he works hard for the team, doesn’t stop running, scores goals and works the channels, he’s everything Watson wants in a striker. I think he will link up really well with Sammo (Jack Sampson) and George (Newell), whilst adding something different to the side.”

Anson is also looking forward to playing in a back four alongside Challoner, who has returned to the club after previously being at Haig Avenue between 2013 and 2016.

“He is one of the best 1 v 1 defenders I have played with. He will give you 100 percent week in, week out. No one will get past him, he’s a committed lad so will fit the philosophy, and hopefully we can get promotion like we did with Chorley.”

Since the end of the last campaign, Anson, who is also a youth coach, states that he has been keeping up with some training exercises whilst in lockdown.

“I’ve been doing my exercises there and just ticking over keeping my fitness up. I had some time to refresh but I’ve started training again. It’s very different, I think once we know what is going on it will put our minds at ease.”

The last time the 23-year-old played in the Vanarama National League North was for Chorley.

During his first season at the club he remembers playing a playoff game against Stockport County at Edgeley Park, whilst he was also amongst the squad who were promoted in 2019.

“The experiences there have helped me become the player I am today, and moments like that are what you want to play football for. Even from sitting on the bench sometimes you get that feeling from a dressing room where every win matters.

The centre-back also feels that his time with the Magpies helped to forge his mentality.

“Every team I’ve been at everyone wants to win, but at Chorley we had one of the smallest budgets in the league but continued to compete, and that was down to mentality. The group of lads in that changing room were so tight and that’s why they went up in the end. It was there with the players, the fans, the manager, even the kit man, and everyone was for the team.

“Football is about marginal errors; Chorley’s victories were 1-0 wins, from free kicks or corners, and that was the difference in the end. We came second but for the whole season we didn’t give.”

Despite being a part of a successful side at Victory Park, Anson was left wanting more after making only 27 starts during his time there.

“I was only the young man at Chorley. I came into a team that had the best defensive record in the division, so it was hard to break into that. When I did play, I felt I always gave 100% and did myself proud, I always thought that the performance I put in warranted a start in the next game, but that’s football and sometimes it doesn’t go your way.”

He continues: “I had never had a season where I had played week in, week out, where I could learn the trade of men’s football. The last time that I had played consistently was at academy football, and that’s a complete different ball game.”

In the search of more regular football, the centre-back joined Norther Premier League Premier Division side, Witton Albion, last summer.

“I knew that I needed to be playing week in week out, so I went for Witton through recommendation from an old teammate. I dropped down to play more matches and up until January I had played every single game.”

He adds, “going there, Witton helped and matured me massively, not just as a player but as a person. I’ve learnt to adapt my game and hopefully I can push on. I went into a starting 11 where the centre half’s have to be the leaders in the team.”

Anson has experienced a range of footballing education, having progressed through the youth ranks at Liverpool, but feels he needed the playing time lower down the pyramid to truly develop.

“It’s very different coming from academies to non-league football;  if there is any advice I could give it’s to go out on loan. When I was at Wigan, I made the mistake of staying as a reserve player and didn’t really get out there, so going into Chorley was a real eye opener, with one mistake costing you the game and your job.”

He continues: “I am more of a ball playing centre half, but first and foremost your job is to defend. Going to those nitty gritty teams have made me an all-round better defender and benefitted me a lot and made me the player I am today. Coming through academies I’m good with my feet but if you concede two or three each week then you’re not doing your job.”

Heading into the 2020/21 campaign, Southport’s new defender has set himself some targets of what he’d like to achieve.

“I want to establish myself as a starter, I don’t want to be in and out the team like I was at Chorley, I want a season where I’m playing week in, week out. I also want to add more goals to my game, because I think as a centre half, I should be scoring at least three or four.”

He also believes that Watson’s side has the ability to compete at the top of the table and challenge for a place in the Vanarama National League.

“In terms of the team goal, I feel that we have the quality to go and push for promotion, we’re looking to get off to strong start and get a minimum of playoff places.”

Anson’s sponsors, Ben Carter Electrical Contracting Services, are pleased to be working with one of the latest recruits, stating:

“We were delighted to help Southport FC with the sponsorship of Adam Anson with a committed investment from ourselves.

“Ben Carter have been supporting Southport FC in various different formats for a number of years and were only too happy to assist our local club further.

“Understandably, it’s difficult and unprecedented times for all at the moment, and not just within football. We are hopeful our contribution will make a massive difference to the Yellows in the upcoming 2020/2021 season.”

Written by Amos Wynn

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