MANCHESTER'S FINEST BRANDON WILLIAMS ON TRAINING, FAMILY AND UNITED
At only 19 years old, Brandon Williams is already making waves in his home city. The Manchester United left back from the heart of 0161 is the face for our exclusive Pro:Direct Soccer x PUMA City Pack capsule. We caught up with the rising star to talk the journey so far - watch the full episode below.
Let's start off Brandon - how old were you when you started kicking a ball?
I got picked up by [Manchester] United at 7, but I started playing ball at 6. I wasn't really into football but my cousin used to take me to a little concrete pitch and we'd kick the ball, chest it, shoot. When I was younger I was really quick, always one of the quickest, but it's down to my cousin how I got to play. How to touch the ball, how to shoot.
At 7 I was playing for a local team called Bury Amateurs. Seven, eight teams wanted me - United, City, Chelsea. I'm from Manchester, my Dad is a United fan and so I went with United. And I've been there ever since. It makes me so happy I can walk out at Old Trafford and my Dad's there.
What's it like now you're in the first team? What's the attention like in Manchester?
It's changed a lot obviously, I can't just go for a walk through the city centre or have a nice chilled walk. I don't mind it, but sometimes I just want to go do something normal. There are certain times I can go do things but you've got to put yourself in the right situations, I've got to have the right people around me.
Since the restart how has the feeling been in and around the dressing room at the club?
With the time away, everyone's back from injury, everyone had time to recover. The mentality around the club is win, win, win. Keeping that mentality that we need to go again and again.
You've made your journey to the first team, but how does it feel having that journey with players you've played with from the start?
It makes it so much more special. In the changing room when you're like 10, 11, you joke about it. But then, when we walk out at Old Trafford and being able to play with each other - you've known each other for years. You know about each other. It makes it so much easier. But it also makes me proud they've done the same journey.
At what point did it sink in for you that 'I'm doing this'?
When I didn't play a few games, I got left out of the team for a few games over the Christmas break. It made me realise I can't be comfortable, I can't just play a few games, I've got to be on it 24/7. I've got competition, I've got to try and cement my place in the team.
How is it having a club legend in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager?
Having a manager who's won everything, he's been through it all - he knows what he wants out of players, how he wants us to play but the way he is towards everyone is special. He's kind, he's nice, the way he talks is special but he's also got that side to him that's not afraid to give us a push and a boost, not afraid to shout. He's just a manager you want around you.
If Ole is a mentor, who would be a big brother figure to you in the team?
Rashie and Jessie. [Marcus Rashford and Jessie Lingard]. They've been through it all already. They've been through the youth stage, through seasons at the club. Them two have always made sure I was alright! When I first got into the team they made sure I was alright. Eating the right things, y'know. Good stuff.
Brandon wears the exclusive Pro:Direct Soccer x PUMA City Pack capsule, featuring tees and hoody to compliment the exclusive PUMA FUTURE 5.1 football boots.
At the heartbeat of the design is the iconic Worker Bee symbol which provides the central creative for the silo with additional apparel also sharing the same look. The worker bee is one of the best-known symbols of Manchester and has long been associated with Mancunians’ hard work ethic and the city being a hive of activity.
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