Northwich Victoria Supporter's Association committee member Jamie Dewsbury had a chat to Vics' centre-back Michael Clarke and put a few questions Mike's way on his career in football, his life outside the game, and even on some dressing room secrets! Many thanks to Mike for a great interview!
Mike, pictured below - in typically dominant fashion playing the ball out from the back in the 1-0 home win Vs Macclesfield Tn in the Cheshire F.A Senior Cup Semi-Final in 2014.
D.O.B- 13/08/1989. Age - 26.
Where do you live and what else do you do other than playing football?
I live in Gatley which is a small village in Stockport.
I am a self-employed painter/decorator - I work with my dad.
Teams played for?
Woodley Sports, Chester F.C, Rushall Olympic and Vics'.
When did you start playing football and what enticed you to do so?
I started playing football when i was 5 years old. My dad got me into playing at my local football club, Cheadle & Gatley.
First memory in football that stands out as a child growing up?
Winning the Manchester County Cup when I was 11, was my first real achievement in football.
Favourite football team? Manchester United.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I like going to the gym, and socialising/spending time with mates. Also taking the mrs' out for a nice meal.
Your sporting hero and why? Growing up - Michael Owen, he was at Liverpool and an amazing striker; I wanted to be like him when i grew up.
Jamie - ''that's treason coming from a United fan!" (both laughing)
Best player played with, and against?
With – Jeff Whitley (Man City Legend.) Against – My old Vics' team-mate Ian Kearney (tough man to beat!)
Best ground played on?
The Racecourse ground, Wrexham.
Best goal scored in your career?
Against Mickleover Sports at home in 2012. A cross came in and with my back to goal - I headed the ball, chested it down and spun on a six-pence just outside the box - volley on my left foot into the bottom corner, all in one movement.
Jamie - I'll vouch for that - I was right behind the goal for it, it was one of the top five goals I have seen scored by a Vics' player; and I've seen a fair few!
Best manager you have played under so far? Jim Gannon.
Who has got the worst dress sense in the Vics' squad? Dane Smith - all the lads give him stick about it! haha!
Who is the biggest prankster/ joker in the squad? Mike Roddy - a constant joker.
You played very well last season Mike, we had the second best defensive record in the league. Your form has been very consistent since playing in the centre-back position. Also you have excelled when deployed in midfield and in your original position as a striker. You have enjoyed it at the back, after initially not being keen on the idea; haven't you?
Yes at first I didn’t want to be playing at the back, i wanted to be back up front - but I have really started to enjoy it; keeping a clean sheet is just as good as scoring a goal, especially when we’ve been winning games week in week out. Midfield is the toughest position for me but i'm willing to put a shift in where ever on the pitch as long as we get a result.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the team for this season?
The team spirit within the squad is evident, and the lads are enjoying their football under the coaching of Jim Gannon. The aim for us this season is to make the play-offs again at the very least, I personally think we can win the title! Also a good cup run, especially the F.A Cup, would be great.
You are all a happy squad at the moment Mike; and it shows. The lads look very happy under Jim (Gannon's) management.
Yes Jamie, the lads are all enjoying their football under Jim, he’s got us all working hard to get where we are today. He knows what it takes to win games and all the lads are buying into his strategies and team-planning/tactics. The results show for themselves what he’s doing is working since he took charge (February 2014).