Throwback Dominic Calvert-Lewin reflects on physical journey from Stalybridge to England

Dominic Calvert-Lewin points beneath his left eye and moves his head slightly towards the camera.

“I don’t know if you can see,” he says. “I’ve still got the scar from the first 20 minutes of playing for Stalybridge.”

It was Boxing Day, 2014, a 17-year-old Calvert-Lewin was on loan from Sheffield United and was making his debut in a non-league derby against Hyde United.

“From a throw-in, I went to flick it on and I flicked my head one way and he’s gone ‘bang’ and head-butted me in the face. So I knew from pretty early what was required.

“I played the rest of the game with one eye because this one closed up.

“I went on to score two goals in that game and it was a good experience and I enjoyed getting beaten up, to be honest.

“I’ve always enjoyed the physical battle.”



Calvert-Lewin has fired his way to a maiden England call-up

Calvert-Lewin is very much your modern young professional, making the pages of glossy magazines for his visit to New York Fashion week earlier this year.

But in many ways, he is a throwback, a throwback to the days when English football was the spiritual home of the towering header.

“You could say it is a dying art,” says Calvert-Lewin. “A lot of games are played on the grass with tiki-taka football.

“I enjoy being a presence in the box. If you can get the ball in, there is always a chance I can head the ball into the net.

“People are quick to pigeon-hole a player and say he is this or he is that – he’s a target man or a spin-in-behind man – but, for me, I like to think I can bring different aspects of the game and heading the ball is one of my strengths.

“If you hang it up, there is a strong chance I’ll win it and that can bring a different outlet and a different way of scoring.”



Calvert-Lewin tops the Premier League goal scoring charts after four games

His old-school heading ability certainly served him well at the weekend, his opener against Brighton giving him five Premier League goals in four games.

And he is now the established, striking focal point of Carlo Ancelotti’s game plan, a fact that has buoyed his self-belief to an even greater extent.

“When he came in and said he was having me as a number nine and was not interested in bringing in anyone else, it was another confidence boost,” says Calvert-Lewin, who recently studied a 15-minute reel of the striker Ancelotti compares him to, Filippo Inzaghi.

“Carlo has definitely had a positive influence on me. I’m evolving as a centre-forward, learning my craft.

“I think I was guilty of doing a lot of my best work away from goal – now I’m focused on getting between the sticks and putting the ball into the back of the net.

“I think that analogy from Carlo is more an emphasis on being in the right place at the right time.

“Not to say I’m a carbon copy of Pippo Inzaghi but if there’s elements of his game that I’ve been showing, it’s one-touch finishes and being in the right place to score.”

With England facing a Wembley triple-header against Wales, Belgium and Denmark, Calvert-Lewin is certain to make his senior England debut.

And his only regret will be his father Karlda will not be there to see it in person.

Calvert-Lewin says: “I know he’s the proudest man on the planet at the minute. I’m very grateful for his backing and one thing he has always said is just believe in yourself and believe in your ability.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from. It’s about backing yourself and believing you can get there.

“I think the only disappointing thing is my family can’t be there to watch it but that is the nature of the beast at this moment in time.”

source.



LuvNaughty | We're here to get you off LiL VAPE | Home of the vapour Latest Media News | Stay updated with us The Lazy Days | Procrastinate right