Students at Newcastle Academy had the opportunity to ask England and Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland all about his career in a special Q&A at our latest Tie of the Round. Jack had some great answers and advice – read on to find out who Jack supported when he was younger and what his advice is for school:
Who is your roomie in the Stoke team?
Geoff Cameron is one of my best friends. We actually don’t have rooms together at Stoke but if I was to choose I’d definitely go for Geoff.
How did you feel when you got chosen for England?
Very, very proud. It’s one of the biggest honours you can have in the game and for me a massive honour for both me and my family.
Who was you footballing hero as a kid when growing up?
I had a few but goalkeeper wise I was a huge fan of Iker Casillas. I watched a lot of YouTube videos of him and really looked up to him.
What is your pre match routine?
It’s the same every week. I always go out for the warm-up an hour before kick-off and always put my right shinpad on first.
Who are the characters in the changing room?
There’s a few. Now we’ve got a few more foreign lads in and it’s changed things a lot. Geoff Cameron likes to talk and Jonathan Walters is always up to something. Marko Arnautovic is a bit of a character too so yeah those three stand out.
What is it like playing in the Premier League?
It’s really, really special. It’s something I’ve worked a long time for and it’s the best and most challenging league in the world. We’ve found that out already this season with some tough games, losing to teams we probably shouldn’t have but at the same time winning games which looked very tough.
Do you have any superstitions before a game?
Other than the right shinpad on first, not particularly.
Do you follow a special diet?
I don’t have a strict diet, I do just try and eat healthy but don’t restrict myself at the same time. On the whole I try to eat well, eat healthy and cut out the chocolate!
What is the manager like? Does he give the hairdryer treatment?
He has a few times, a few times we’ve deserved it this year. He has got the potential to do that and as a former player I’m sure he’s had a few in his time. When it’s needed it’s important so I’m not against it.
Who did you support when you were younger?
Manchester United. I grew up watching them a lot on TV as being from Bristol we were mainly a rugby family and I wasn’t forced into supporting either Bristol City or Bristol Rovers.
Did you behave at school? What advice would you give to us?
I did but I think everyone goes through stages and works it out eventually. I had my moments but I had goals I wanted to achieve, I wanted to play football but I know if that didn’t work out I needed something to fall back on so I did work hard at school, I passed all my GCSEs and I’ve got that behind me. You’ve just got to keep working hard as once I left school I looked back on it and realised it was one of the best times of my life. So my advice is don’t waste it, you can have a laugh and enjoy yourself but if you don’t come out with the results you thought you would then I guarantee you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.
What other sports did you play at school?
Everything! We were mainly a rugby school so I played that and everything from basketball, cricket, tennis and badminton – anything to keep me active!
How did it feel when you saved Eden Hazard’s penalty in the cup?
Very good, I didn’t think I was going to save any – I managed to dive out the way of all the others! Especially with us having had ten men and going all the way to penalties, it was great to be able to save the winning one and now we’re in the semi-finals (of the Capital One Cup).
If you were not a footballer what would you be doing now?
I’d still try and be in sport somewhere. I’d try rugby, cricket, basketball – any sport really as that’s what I’m passionate about so it’s hard to think what I’d be as I’ve been lucky I’ve been able to focus on football.
In training do you play outfield? Are you a hidden striker?
I always keep the gloves on but I do like to try a little run every now and then. I try and throw a couple of skills into the equation as I used to play outfield until I was about 13/14 and used to be a striker and I do still enjoy it.
What do you do with your spare time?
I like golf as a lot of footballers do. Sometimes I go to the gym in my spare time and catch up with friends and family who live a bit further away from home.
How did you feel making your debut for Stoke?
Very, very good. It was a long time coming as I joined the club a couple of years before and it took a lot of hard work to get to that stage. It was a mix of relief and an ease of that frustration and now I’m in this position I’m thriving on the opportunity.
How was playing in the Olympics?
Special. Usually football is the main focus of everything but at the Olympics it wasn’t and it was really nice to be in the Olympic Village where you see Usain Bolt walking around and all the athletes like the American basketball team who made me feel really, really small! It wasn’t all about us, it was about Team GB and the whole environment and it was very special to be a part of. There was a massive food court which could seat up to about 3,000 people with foods from all over the world and you just realise you’re in a completely different environment and scenario and it was really good to be a part of.
What are your future ambitions?
Club wise, I’m really looking forward to pushing on with Stoke and seeing how we get on in the Capital One Cup which could potentially take us to a European spot which we’re really trying to grasp hold of. Internationally I want to be England number one!