Earlier this week we seen an article released which contained the details of the best youth players from around the world. It then developed that Calvin Miller was one of the names in this, a youth player at Celtic. He was announced the best player in the world of his age. What a remarkable achievement for any young player. This is also something that Neymar won, so to be compared with Neymar must make everyone who knows him very proud. Here is the link to the article mentioned above, link. I’ve taken the time to ask Calvin’s father a few questions, which you can read below.
1. You’ll no doubt be aware that Calvin has been named the worlds best player of his age. How proud does this make you feel?
My pride for Calvin is indescribable considering what the past 12months has provided us with, but when my phone was going crazy when it was know that Calvin was named as “The WORLDS Best Young Footballer born in 1998″ I couldn’t speak for hours as I was fighting to hold back the emotions (thank god for social media sites lol). I had messages from Calvins family members and friends alike as they where all ecstatic and also from my Partner who had found this out before me (as I was working) and they too felt on top of the world. I was in my friend Tony’s car coming home from work and we where discussing the days events and as I turned on my phone I went silent for the full journey home because of the enormity of it all!
2. Could you tell me about Calvin? How did he get into football? When did Celtic come calling? Where does he play?
I used to take him to his Primary School games at St Bartholomew’s in Castlemilk, he probably had about 70% of possession in these games himself. After this he was asked to join local team called Castleglen which was a year above his age group and he was a stand out yet again. That’s probably when I started to take notice of his talent.
The coach from Castleglen was given a job with Rangers Supporters Association Boys Club about 2 months at end of season, and asked for Calvin who was 11 to go with him but it was U14s so coming off bench almost each game in 8 weeks didn’t sit well with us, so we left at end of season. We ended up joining same team except U13s while he was still only 11 until the following year. He was instalments in winning the League Cup, Regional Cup, Blackpool Tournament Cup and also achieving Managers Player of the year Award. He was outstanding. With this the trial for Rangers pro youth came, we went to Murray Park a few times but I pulled him out as I didn’t think it was in his benefit as Rangers had him playing 7 aside games because of his age, but he was at the time an out and out winger who could out run anyone and had a deadly strike so it was doing him no favours. Along with that he was training with boys 3/4 years his senior and there was about 30 at a training session, so I said NO thanks. Then after that Celtic came a-calling. His debut game for Celtic was against Rangers at Murray Park, we where getting beat one nil at half time. Calvin came on, scored a wonder goal from our own half scored and then scored the winner. All the mid week training sessions, weekend games (sometimes on a sat and sun) are paying off. As I don’t drive and it was very difficult to get Calvin to games and training and had to rely on others generosity to get us there but Calvin is definitely paying us off with his performances of late!
Calvin plays anywhere across the front line, centre forward, left or right wing and scored 86 goals in his first season with Celtic. Not too bad eh?
3. What do you think the future holds for Calvin? Do you believe there’s a successful career in football ahead for him?
I really hope there is and at the end of the day he is in the perfect position to pave a future for him self. Celtic have been amazing for his development, its like an extended family and they all are looking out for Calvins future. When Chris McCart gave Calvin his celtic top with name on it when he signed his 3 year pre contract in the Celtic Board Room a few months ago I almost cried with joy! Great day, but it just goes to show you the level of detail that Celtic go to to ensure the Celtic experience is unrivalled. Calvin would not have been named The Worlds Best Young Footballer if it had not been Celtic. It was mentioned about 2 years ago. In a parents meeting in celtic park that he may change positions from striker to a Gareth Bale type player, and that was before he became the worlds most expensive player, so I’m hoping Celtics vision comes true. On a serious note, I just hope that Calvin can make a great living doing what he loves best and if he can do that at a club we both love then I am sure he will become a legend!
4. Have Celtic helped in relation to his development and all-round play? Does training fit in well with an education?
Celtic’s youth development programme at Lennoxtown has been inspirational in Calvins progress. He gets picked up and dropped off daily and wants for nothing. He gets all the support physically and mentally he needs. Celtic have became a part of his life and it doesn’t stop at his team coach, its every age group coach, physio, scout …. The list goes on. Calvin now goes to school once a week (on a Wednesday)as he is full time with Celtic which Celtic are insistent of to ensure Calvin gets an education on the back of being a full time footballer. When he was at school full time we could not ask for more from St. Ninian’s in kirkie as they enhanced his expected exam results!
5. What about the rest of the family, are they as proud as you are of Calvin?
Calvin could not get a prouder family, every single one of us far and wide are such big fans! There’s a few of Calvins family who are not here, in particular, Calvins Granddad “Charlie” and his Nana “Betty” will be beaming with joy up above and I’m certain they both are guiding Calvin in the right direction.
I speak constantly about his progression with my friends and in my work so he was a massive following from people he doesn’t even know!
6. How often do you get to go along and watch Calvin playing for Celtic?
I try and got to all home games in Lennoxtown, although as I don’t drive that seems like an away game for me. If Calvin kicks off at 3pm on a Sunday then I need to leave about 12:15 to get a connecting bus to Lennoxtown as are every hour. When Calvin was younger I took Calvin to every training session and every game but that was when it was in Glasgow. Changing shifts at work was possible then but as its so far away its difficult. My weekends do consist of going to Calvins games on a Sunday and his younger brother Kyle’s games on a Saturday. Then I have the occasional midweek game with Calvin in the Glasgow Cup. I also follow Calvin to every Scotland game, I went all of last years Victory Shields games, Italy game and a few more. I am off tomorrow with Calvin’s brothers Kyle and Oliver and my partner to N.Ireland to watch Calvin again in the Victory Shield this year.
If I could, I would go to every single one of my bhoys football games. I make it a point to go as often as possible as my father didnt get along to many of my games so I wanted to make sure my bhoys didn’t feel as I did. I have sacrificed so many weekends and long lays in bed to ensure they see me supporting them play the beautiful game and I wouldn’t change one single minute of it!
7. What would be the best thing to happen to Calvin in terms of his football career, in your own opinion?
I honestly think Calvin just needs to continue with his development, take heed from his coaches, soak up everything that ALL the staff at Celtic provide and be level headed. After that Calvins future will be in his own hands! No matter what I will still be the proudest dad on earth!
8. You see Calvin’s name on the Celtic first team starting line-up. How does this make you feel?
As my own father was a Celtic fan and as I am to see my own flesh and blood pull on the hoops top on paradise would be THE biggest moment in my life. I would die a very happy man! Its amazing to think that myself and Calvin used to watch Celtic games on TV and one day I would be watching him at Parkhead would be like winning the lottery, totally life changing stuff! Am emotional even thinking about that, but I honestly believe that will become a reality.
I also put two questions to Paul Docherty, who is a coach and has found his team coming up against Calvin on a number of occasions. The below is Paul’s answers.
1. As a coach you’ve came up against Calvin Miller a few times. Tell me a bit about him from an ‘opposition’ point of view. Just how good is he? Where is he best at? How does he play?
2. What do you see in the future for Calvin? Will it be a highly successful footballing career?
As a coach having a team playing against him I’ll be blatantly honest, it was terrifying! He has great strength and lightning pace!
At the time I coached a very good Kilmarnock u15 side and we tried to not overly focus on him but did have a plan to try and stop him, I’m not talking about normal/average pro youth players either, two of the centre backs where Scotland internationals.
I’ve came up against them all from my own playing and coaching, I always thought Islam Feruz was special and he is, for me this boy edges it on him, he appears to have a sensible head on his shoulders and not that cockiness you would expect from a person with such talent!
He played as a striker but would drop really deep so the players wouldn’t have a clue who would pick him up, he would then take the ball in, turn and run at you and was very difficult to stop in this circumstance! Even if we man marked him it would turn out to be a waste of a player from our point of view.
I always try and look at players constructively, I always had a viewpoint that they should work hard to get better, anyone who has watched that boy at youth level would tell you it’s very hard to pick fault.
He has a bit of size and presence about him for his age, as long as he keeps developing physically and technically I think he will have a huge future!
Calvin blatantly has a bright future ahead of him. Let’s hope that we see him playing in a few years time. A big thanks to Darren for taking the time to answer the questions. Also a thanks to Paul as well. You can follow Darren on twitter here, @DJ_daddy_Darren, and Paul here, @pauld2103.