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Joe Ledley

The pupils were very excited when they got to interview & photograph Cardiff City's Joe Ledley at the Vale Training Grounds on 3rd December 2009.

Highlight for Album: *SHOE AIDLast Year one of the pupils who interviewed the Chief Constable mentioned that he would like to interview Cardiff City's Joe Ledley. So when we started collecting the Sports Shoes for Africa at the beginning of term, we asked Cardiff City what they did with their boots and that led to our visit.

The CanteenWe met at the school at 8:15 to avoid the traffic and arrived earlier at the City's fantastic Vale Training facilities that they share with the Cardiff Blues and waited in the canteen. We had breakfast with some of our spoting heroes such as Jay Boothroyd, Kelvin Etuhu, Michael Chopra, Adam Matthews, Miguel Comminges and Josh Magennis. signing a few things for usThey read the sport commentaries in the newspapers and listened to sky sports. We had brought in a few items and souvenirs to be signed and all the players were Time clockreally very nice about it.

We watched as more players 'clocked in' when they arrived and either went downstairs into the gym or had a late breakfast in the canteen. They had a selection of some really healthy foods all prepared for them by a dietician, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Julie tells Millie that a healthy diet is very important to footballers as well as very tastey(But we noticed that Chopra packed away a few cheese toasties too!)

No CaptionJulie -who was preparing the meals in the kitchen - told us about the importance of a healthy diet. To any sportsman diet is an essential part of training and achieving their best performance. The occasional treat or snack is fine but it is mainly plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit and low fat meats.

Ahead of the match they will eat Carbohydrates which help muscles recover after exercise gives you the ability to exercise harder and for longer. They need to eat plenty of high glycemic foods such as baked spuds, rice, pasta which are the best for muscle recovery.

When Joe came in and we all took turns taking some photographs and asking him the following questions:-

    No Caption1) As a child were you interested in any other sport besides football?
    No CaptionI enjoyed and played both Rugby and football for Cantonian my high school, and I even had trials for Cardiff Blues so when I left school I had to make a choice of which sport to carry on with.

    2.) Apart from Cardiff what football team did you support when you were younger? What are you fondest memories of watching football?
    I was a big Liverpool fan when I was younger and have many fond memories of watching them play some great football from the Kop end at Anfield.

    Cantonian Logo3.) What were you like at school? Did you enjoy it?
    I was not the best or brightest academically I was always in the lower sets so I did not do well. {but when we prompted him he admitted that he was the Captain of the football team and was good at all sports}

    4.) Were you bullied/were you a bully? What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied?
    I was sometimes bullied but I just had to get on with it. My advice is that you need to tell someone about it as soon as possible and shame the bullies. Bullying should be kept out of school

    5.) What has been your proudest achievement?
    I think my first ever game for Cardiff  against the 'MK Dons' on 21st September 04 in the league cup was my proudest moment. But I was also very proud of my first international game for Wales (against Poland on 7 September 05)

    SHOE AID6.) We’ve collected old sports shoes at the school to send to help young people In Africa, what do you do with your old boots?
    I am pretty sure we did the same thing and that all our old boots we collected got sent to help young people in Africa. We all do a lot of charity work too.

    I am not that Famous7.) Is there a downside to being famous? What is it?
    I am not sure that I am that famous. But it can be difficult for some famous players and their families constantly being watched and having to be careful what you say and do.

    No Caption8.) What advice could you give to young people interested in sporting careers?
    You always have to give 100% in what you do, you should concentrate on school and listen to your teachers a good education is very important.

    Dave Jones9.) What do you see as your long term goal?
    I’d like to be in the Premiership with Cardiff. Would you like to be a manger? Yes I’d like to be manager (laughing) hopefully taking over from Dave Jones.

    10.) What is the best stadium you’ve played in? Why what is the new Cardiff Stadium like as a player?
    I have two favourites the Millennium Stadium and Wembley the atmosphere at both is great. The new Cardiff City Stadium is great just like these wonderful facilities at the Vale we share it with the Cardiff Blues, the pitch and grounds are great there is no downside.

    11.) Lionel MessiWho do you think is the best footballer today and why?
    Personally I think it is Steven Gerrard or Lionel Messi he's tough, quick, and reads the game well.

    12.) How did you feel when you scored the winning goal in the F.A. cup semi final we were there and we loved it?
    Just amazing I was buzzing for ages afterwards.

    13.) What is the best goal you’ve scored? Or best bit of football you have played so far?
    It was a great fun feeling when I scored against our local rivals Swansea.

    14.) What was it like being captain last season, what is involved?
    I really enjoyed it, because all my family and I have always been such fans of Cardiff City it was also a real honour. It does not change your game but you do try and help others on the pitch.

    Carpet Fitter15.) If you were not a footballer what would you be?
    I would probably be a carpet fitter. My dad had his carpet company and I would have worked for him and probably taken it over when he retired.

    Ninian Park16.) Were you sad to see Ninian Park demolished?
    Yes I have many fond memories of being there and watching some great matches as well as playing there too. Of course the new stadium is fabulous.

    17.) If someone made an offer for you, who would you want it to be?
    Barcelona or Liverpool would be great teams to play for.

    No Caption18.) One of the boys in our class is the goalkeeper for Cardiff City under 10s.We know you also came through the academy. What advice could you give him?
    As I said earlier keep working hard, you need to give 100% and listen to everything your coach tells you. Listen to what your teachers say too.

    19) Is there a joker in the squad, what tricks have they played on you?
    MIchael Chopra Probably it is Michael Chopra he likes playing lots of jokes he has not played one on me yet, but he added loads of stickers onto Gerrard’s new white Volvo to make it look like a police car.

    20.) Which player takes the longest in front of the mirror?
    (laughing) Last year it was Roger Johnson but Chops loves himself a bit too.

    21.) Sometimes we see footballers behaving badly on the pitch, are there any consequences that we do not see?
    Yes there are fines and penalties that can be applied and your manager would be waiting to have a few words with you. This is very much a team game and we do not want to put our team mates at a disadvantage by getting sent off. We are all very aware about setting a bad example to all the young people who are watching the game.

    Thank you very much for answering our questions! No problems it was a pleasure.

We were all rather surprised at just how nice and down to earth Joe and indeed all the players we met were- they were very nice people. We thank them all for their kindness No Captionand their valuable time.

Afterwards we walked down to the football pitch by the lake to watch the squad get put through their paces. Miss Hargaddon was looking very closely at the warm up and training exercises, thinking what she could use for the school No Captionfootball team, she missed the opportunity to get a few tips (or players on loan) from Dave Jones but it was still very useful.

We all had another go with the camera and took a few more snaps of the team training No Captionbefore we all headed back to school. We wrote a small article for the school newsletter that week with the help of Mr Evans. And we wrote up these notes and added some of our photographs.

On the radio on the way home we heard the news on the radio that Joe had problems with his hip and needed surgery to get up to his peak performance. We certainly wish him all the best for the future and hope he fully recovers from the operation and plays the top quality football he is famous for.

RMWW SLEEPOVERYou can find out more about Joe on the Cardiff City Website. You can see when City's striker Steve Thompson visited Millbank in November 2007 to help promote the Read A Million Words in Wales scheme. In 2003 City's then midfielder Gareth Ainsworth came to the Learning Centre to help spread the importance of reading (alas that event is one of many on the old website lost last year, we hope the council will restore them soon)

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