At home with... Blackburn's Bradley Dack and Danny Graham
Sky Sports exclusive: Blackburn pair Bradley Dack and Danny Graham discuss Sunday League, David Beckham and much, much more
Last Updated: 04/06/20 2:50pm
Bradley Dack and Danny Graham discussed a wide range of topics as Sky Sports joined the Blackburn pair at home.
Gary Weaver and Keith Andrews spoke to the duo about Sunday League, David Beckham and much, much more.
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On starting out in the game…
Dack: "Playing Sunday League after I was released by Charlton helped me but, at the time, it was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to stay at an academy but I wasn't deemed good enough to be at an academy. It was tough to take. I went on trial to Fulham and Norwich and they said I wasn't better than players they already had.
"At school, half of my friends played for one team, half for the other and I told my dad I wanted to go and play with the boys again at a team called Corinthians. I then got a trial with Gillingham from November until the end of the season, while playing Sunday League as well and, at the end of that season, I got a contract at U16 level."
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Graham: I had nine months of window fitting after leaving school while playing in the Northern League for a team called Chester-le-Street and having trials with Hartlepool and a few teams around the North East. Nothing seemed to be going my way and then I ended up going on a week's trial at Middlesbrough and we ended up playing a game against Blackburn. I did well in that game, then signed as a second year YTS and thankfully I've never looked back.
On their on-field understanding...
Dack: "When I came up to the training ground to sign for the club, I walked through the door and before I'd even met the manager, Danny shook my hand and just said: "Make sure you sign, because if you sign here, I'll get you 15 goals this season," and walked off!
"He's helped bring my game on with slight things that he's taught me, like movements, places to be. It was one of those occasions where, as soon as we got onto the training ground, it just clicked. The manager saw that, put us in the team and we've manage to score a lot of goals and set a lot of goals up for each other. I try to take as much information as I can from Dan because I know where he's been. I love playing with him."
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Graham: "When I heard about Dacky signing, I knew he'd won League One Player of the Year so I took a bit of time to see what he was about, what sort of player he was and I liked exactly what I saw. I thought we'd have a good relationship so that was the first thing I wanted to say to him to make sure he was ready for the step up. Since he came in he's been a breath of fresh air and though he'll eventually go on to bigger and better things, we're delighted to have him at the minute."
On being sidelined since December…
Dack: "As soon as it happened, I knew exactly what I'd done. Without going into too much detail, I felt the ligament snap and I knew straight away what it was. For 20 seconds it was probably the worst pain I've ever felt and when I went to see the surgeon, he went into detail about why I felt the pain when some people can sustain an ACL injury, get up and carry on running around - it was my bones hitting together that caused the pain that I felt.
"I think that was good for me to know what it was there and then because I could almost get over it quicker; it would've been worse if I'd thought it was fine, then gone for the scan and found out what was wrong. I had the surgery and since then I feel like I've had the right mentality with the rehab. One of the first things I asked my surgeon was when I was going to be able to play golf again! He said that 16 weeks after the operation I could go on the range and then after 18 I could go on the course and hit wedges and irons. It's been fine but I was a bit nervous the first time."
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Graham: "It's tough going - I had it when I was breaking into the first team at Middlesbrough when I was younger. I was playing for weeks and I had a stress fracture in my tibia but I was managing to train for a while and get through it but then the pain became too much. My confidence was sky-high then all of a sudden I had four months of doing nothing ahead of me.
"The gym is a lonely place at times but I think Dacky has dealt with it quite well so far. He's probably going to have ups and downs but I'm sure he'll come back stronger and better than ever and hopefully that's the case because he's been massive for us since he walked through the building. You take your highs with your lows but he's done well so far and hopefully that can continue."
On the significance of wearing the No 23 shirt…
Dack: "My old man is a Tottenham fan and my first ever kit was a Spurs kit. My mum has still got every single football kit I've ever owned in the loft - she's got about three massive suitcases! I started remembering football seasons in the 90s and the first season I remember was 1998/99 when Man United won the treble. They were the team that was always on the TV and I loved David Beckham so I was always going to be a United fan and that's why I wear the No 23 (which he wore at Real Madrid and LA Galaxy): Beckham and Michael Jordan."