LYMM HIGH SCHOOL
with Nathan Lowe
Read our Q&A with former Lymm High student Nathan Lowe
Gets England U19s call-up
Former Lymm High Scholl student Nathan Lowe has been playing for Stoke City for 8 years since he joined their academy, aged 10. He is getting used to being recognised in Stoke and having fans shout out his name. And this is set to continue following his debut appearance for England’s Under-19s squad in the three UEFA U19 Euro qualifying matches.
How did it feel when you got the England call-up?
The England call-up came as a surprise really. I was overwhelmed when I was rung by the Under-19 manager, and he confirmed to me that I would be involved and laid out the plans for the forthcoming week. Only when I turned up to London on the first night did I fully understood the magnitude of the situation and it was a great feeling.
What was the atmosphere like in Montenegro with the England Under-19s squad?
The atmosphere at the games in Montenegro were good, especially the first game against Montenegro; however, I had played in front of a lot more fans for my club, so it wasn’t as daunting as you’d expect. It was weird being able to hear my teammates talk on the pitch as they are normally drowned out by noise from the fans.
How did the rest of the squad receive you into the team?
I was nervous and didn’t talk to many people at first but then as the week progressed, I gained confidence and started to put myself out there more. Even now after the camp has ended I still stay in touch with some of the players.
How did it feel when you were told to warm up the first time?
Believe it or not, I wasn’t actually that nervous to come on as I had watched the game and just wanted to get on the pitch so when they told me to warm up it didn’t really affect me.
Were you nervous walking onto the pitch?
After my first few touches of the ball, I had settled into the game and then from there I realised it was no different from any youth team game, just at a higher standard.
Which was your best game?
I did play a part in all three games of the Euro Qualifiers coming off the bench, getting
30 minutes in the first (Montenegro), 25 minutes in the second (Wales), and 15 minutes in the third and final game (Austria).
How long have you been at Stoke City?
I’ve been at Stoke City since the age of 10 and have progressed through the ranks steadily until the age of 16 when I started to kick on and play above my age group consistently.
How did you juggle training and school work?
It was hard trying to balance my school work and football over the years, however I made sure to make time for my studies after training.
What does a standard day now look like?
My standard day now is quite a tricky one as I’m often required by three different age groups (U18, U21 & 1st team). My typical day starts at 8.15am and ends at 4.30pm as that’s the scholars report time. However, the 1st team’s day is a lot shorter with report at 9.30am and finish at around 1/1.30pm.
I normally train with the 1st team in the morning and then after lunch, we sometimes do gym work. When I get little snippets of time, and for a whole day on Wednesday (when the 1st team are off), I try and box off some education.
I live in ‘digs’ in Stoke during the week, which is basically me living with two other teammates and a family who gets paid to look after us. Since my family house is only 40 minutes away, I often come back to Lymm mid-week for the night and most weekends.
What’s your best memory so far at Stoke?
I have made some great memories in my time at Stoke, with most coming in the last year since I signed as a professional. Naturally, making my debut at 17 in the Championship and the FA Cup against Premier League opposition Brighton are up there; and obviously scoring my first professional goal 12 days after turning 18, to win the game 3–2 in the 89th minute was special. My full debut in the Championship was also a big milestone.
Do you have any fond memories of Lymm High School?
I loved my time at Lymm High School and I have very fond memories from Years 7–11. At the end of Year 11 I was excited for my new challenge as a full time professional but after a while I started to realise how good I had it at school. That’s not to say I’m unhappy with my career choice, I’m definitely not; however, I sometimes do wish I could go back in time and relive all those happy memories.
What were your favourite subjects?
My favourite subjects at school were Business Studies, Maths, French and GCSE PE, mostly because I was alright at them but also because I had a passion and enjoyed studying them. I got decent enough grades in all of the subjects I took for GCSEs but I found it a lot easier to spend hours revising these subjects that I particularly liked.
What football team do you support?
Growing up I was a Manchester United fan because of my family. This was unpopular amongst my friends when we used to live in Hertfordshire but it was much easier to support them when we moved up to Lymm.
Do you play FIFA?
Yes I occasionally play the new FIFA but only for playing with my mates on pro clubs. To be honest I typically prefer shooting games as I enjoy them more and I’m probably better at them.