Newcastle United Academy striker Tyrique Bartlett says he hopes to ply his trade in the English Premier League one day, like his father did.
Bartlett penned a three-year deal with the Magpies’ academy team, and he is hoping that the move can serve as a platform to bigger things, citing his dad’s time in the Premier League.
‘I watched him a lot when I was very young, but I don’t remember much,’ he told safa.net.
‘He is known as a player that was mobile and he scored a lot of headers in his time,’ added.
Bartlett Jnr also mentioned the similarities between him and his father in terms of style of play.
‘I am the kind of player that holds up the ball a lot and brings other people into play, and I am working on my heading and hopefully one day I will get close to his heading ability – I think I am not too far from him.
‘From an early age my dad never put pressure on me. He told me to go out there and make a name for myself. The pressure mostly came from myself, because I saw what he did in his playing days, so I was harder on myself than he was on me,’ he said.
The 17-year-old, who will come up against Brazil and England in friendlies for Amajita, spoke of his delight at being handed a call-up, in addition to revealing how his move to Newcastle came about.
‘Just being called up to the national team is so important to me, knowing that all the people I am representing back home in South Africa – all the fans, my family, friends – and knowing how big it is to them, just gives me the extra hunger that I need to go on, regardless of who we play.
‘Even though we know that Brazil and England are big opponents, we just are going to give it our all, and we will do our best. It’s going to be tough matches, but I am confident we can do well.
‘I was on trial at Ajax Cape Town before I moved to AmaTuks, and there was a scout who saw me playing. He also saw me again at the Bayhill Tournament in Cape Town and he asked me a few questions, like what are your ambitions, where do you see yourself – and I told him that I saw myself in Europe just doing the best I can. He was happy with that, and last year in July I had a trial at Newcastle for a week.
‘I actually took a train from London and on the day I scored two goals, then I trained the rest of the week with the U-18 and U-23 squads. They were just impressed with what they saw.
‘All I can say is I will not put any limits for myself because the sky is the limit, and there’s nothing I can’t accomplish right now if I just stay focused, work hard and show my dedication and keep on learning from the people around me, whether it’s small things or big things – we can always learn from other people.
‘The main goal for me is to play in the English Premier League,’ he concluded.
-This story originally appeared on SportsClub.co.za
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