Not all players get to start their careers as professional players. Many have to work their way up through the leagues, braving boggy pitches and big tackles. Jamey Osborne from Hednesford Town is one of many players looking to replicate the likes of Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle and go from Non-League football to the top of the footballing ladder. Osborne is a skilful box to box midfielder and we spoke him about his game and his ambitions.
What would you see as your biggest strengths in your game?
I like to get the ball down, play proper football, get the full backs into the game and switch the play. Going forward I like to run at defenders, creating chances for our forwards by dribbling and I often win free kicks and penalties from this. I am not afraid to put in a tackle when needed but this has got me a few bookings on occasions.
What areas of your game are you looking to improve on?
As most midfielders do, I want to add more goals to my game as it helps you get recognised. I keep my passing game simple and try to make things tick in midfield but I would like to try and dictate the tempo of games more. I’m happy with my fitness but it is always something you can improve on and if I want to play full time I will need to be as fit as possible. I had a couple of injuries last year so the main thing for me at the moment is just to stay fit and playing.
Which Premier League player would you compare your style of play to?
That’s a tough question but if I had to pick a player I would say I have a similar type of game to Steven Gerrard. He is my footballing role model as I got to watch him a lot growing up. He is a box to box player and I play a similar role for Hednesford.
You do see some success stories of players coming from non-league football into the professional game. Do you see the opportunities there to progress up the leagues?
I have had interest shown in me previously from a few teams in the Football League so I know there is the chance to progress. My contract is up at the end of the season so I will have to see what happens then.
Do you feel there is anyway non-league football could improve and increase non-league players’ chances of getting an opportunity in the Football League?
To be honest I think the clubs in League 1 and 2 are more willing to take a risk on non-league players nowadays. There are a lot more players getting a chance at the moment which is encouraging.
Who is your dream club to play for?
I’m an Aston Villa fan so I would love to play for them but at the moment I just want the chance to play in the Football League.
Do you have any pre-match rituals?
No not really. I just take each game as they come and just make sure to have a good meal before the game.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
In the 2012/13 season I won the Birmingham Senior Cup, the Staffordshire Cup and won the play offs with Hednesford. I managed to score in both cup finals and the play offs so that was great. It was a really good season for us.