English forward Charlie Sheringham
, son of former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur footballer Teddy, recently joined Saif Sporting Club and wasted little time making an impact, scoring on his Bangladesh Premier League debut against holder Dhaka Abahani Limited. Formerly at top-flight outfit Bournemouth and Wimbledon, the 29-year old featured for a host of English clubs throughout his career before embarking on his Bangladesh adventure. He gave an exclusive interview to Dhaka Tribune
where he shared his thoughts on Bangladesh football, playing golf with English striker Harry Kane and his career, among other topics. Here are the excerpts:
It's been around a month since you arrived in Bangladesh. Have you enjoyed the experience thus far?
Yes, really enjoyed it. It's very different to London. But really enjoying Dhaka.
Did you get to try out any local dishes?
Yes, we have our very own chef downstairs. He makes all the local food. Biriyani is good. I'm really enjoying the food.
You've played across different divisions in England. How do you rate the top-flight in Bangladesh after playing two matches here?
It's different. Because of the weather here, and the heat. The tempo is a bit slower here. But competition is good here. And Saif Sporting have got some really good players.
During training, you were likely to have come across a few youngsters coming through the rank at Saif Sporting. Do you think some of them have what it takes to play outside Bangladesh in future?
Just have to practice, have to improve the skills and technique. In England, it (infrastructure) is really advanced. And the young players are so good. If they do want to make it to England or Europe, they (Bangladesh youngsters) have to be exceptionally good. You have to be an amazing player. So if you're a Bangladesh player, you have to keep practising, keep practising. Keep learning all the time. Keep listening to your coaches, and improve.
Have you noticed any notable differences between the opposition teams in England and over here?
Like I have said already, the tempo of the game is slower. Because of the heat. You know, football here is very different. The last game I played (against Arambagh Krira Sangha), I've never played a team like that. They're just, "defend, defend, defend". They just sat, in their box, parked the bus completely. Never went forward. From the very kick off. They never went forward, only went back. They kick in (goal-kick) and then they go back. I've never seen that before. That was really different. You don't get a team like that (in England).
How are you acclimatising in Bangladesh? On another note, have you done any sightseeing as of yet?
It helps that our coach Ryan [Northmore] is English. He has helped me settle in. Haven't done too much sightseeing yet. I've been to Gulshan a lot. There are some nice hotels. I need some advice from you guys (media). (Smiles). What should I see, what should I do (smiles).
Are you following the BPL? Many of the English lads are here...
I haven't been following the BPL. But I'll be watching the Ashes. Starts today (Thursday).
Your father must have been a big influence behind your introduction to football...
He has been a big influence. I've watched him over the years. Seen him play many times when I was a child. Seen him in a lot of games.
Did you follow or play any other sport other than football?
As a kid, I've played every single sport. You know, football, cricket, hockey, squash, golf, swimming, running. Everything. But now I play a lot of golf.
Was your dad your idol growing up or was it someone else?
My dad. Of course. Wayne Rooney. And now, my favourite player is Harry Kane.
Do you think it was written in the stars that you would have followed in your father's footsteps and become a striker yourself?
From a young age I wanted to become a striker. Yeah, it just happened. It was always going to happen I think.
Do you ever want to play under your father's stewardship? He's currently cutting his coaching teeth in the Indian Super League for Atletico de Kolkata...
If the opportunity comes then yes, maybe. It would be nice. It'll be nice, let’s see. Maybe one day in the future.
Many England players got their first international cap in the latter part of their career, including the likes of Leon Osman, Kevin Davies and Tim Sherwood. Do you still harbour hope of representing the Three Lions?
Of course I would love to but realistically, perhaps not. You never know. Never say never.
Who was your favourite teammate back in England?
My favourite teammate in England? Ummm, guy plays for Bournemouth, Steve Cook.
Did you get in touch with any of the English lads recently? And have you made any friends outside of football?
I played golf with Harry Kane recently. I know a few of them (England footballers) but I’m not close friends with them. And I played with the Essex cricket team recently, with Adam Wheater.