My First: John Stones reflects on a selection of firsts from his career in football

Last Updated: 06/01/19 8:00am

John Stones runs through the best and worst first moments from his career, from debut goals to meeting Pep Guardiola
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John Stones runs through the best and worst first moments from his career, from debut goals to meeting Pep Guardiola

Manchester City and England defender John Stones reflects on a selection of firsts from his career in football with Soccer AM.

From being dropped as a 12-year-old at Barnsley, to working with Pep Guardiola, Stones looks back on some of his career defining moments....

First hero

My first and only hero is my dad. We don't realise the scarifies our parents make - only when you get older.

First shirt

I asked my mum for a Barnsley shirt - it was bright green. I remember it vividly, it was like silk, soft to touch.

First time you cried over football

When I got dropped at Barnsley. I was about 12-13 years old and I was told I was playing down for a few years as I was too small. I was so upset. People don't realise you have those set backs. It makes you stronger.

Stones made his professional debut for Barnsley

First professional game

I came on against Reading for Barnsley. I remember everything being so fast. I had always visualised what it would be like to play for your club - it was nothing like that. You can't recreate the crowd or how things are on the pitch. You can train all you want but you can't recreate the situation of a competitive game.

First goal

It was on my full debut for Barnsley against Rochdale! I remembering practising the set-pieces the day before and I had to spin around the back. I don't remember catching the ball well but I headed it down and it went through the goalkeeper's legs and went in. I didn't know how to celebrate. My mum was in the crowd and she was crying.

First day at Manchester City

I was nervous. Very nervous. I had friends from England, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and Joe Hart - he especially made it so much easier. It's a big period as you know where nothing is, like the canteen, where to be, what time to get there and he coached me through, putting an arm around me. I've still got a note in my locker from him when he went to Torino - I won't read it out as it has some naughty words - but he told me to just be me and not change who I am.

Stones says he was 'nervous' on his first day at Manchester City

First training session with Pep

I remember enjoying it and noticing how passionate he was. He was trying to get his ideas across to us in the first session.

I turned back towards my own goal and played a disguised pass and we managed to play out because of it. I remember his excitement when something like that came off. That was powerful.

First England call-up

It was for the World Cup. I remember Roy calling me up. I didn't know the number. I said thank you a thousand times and then burst into tears. I was so overwhelmed. I rang my mum. I was so happy. It was a big moment.