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Stacey on Parker, degree & Elon Musk


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The Cherries head to Reading on Saturday, the match a return to a familiar stomping ground for full-back Jack Stacey.

The 25-year-old spent over a decade with the Royals, joining at the age of eight, winning the Premier League Cup on his route through the academy before making his senior debut for the club aged just 18.

Since then he's appeared at Wembley with Exeter City, won two promotions with Luton Town and played 19 times in the Premier League for the Cherries.

The dynamic wide presence has flourished down the right in recent weeks for Scott Parker's side, and was honest in his answers for a recent sit down with the club.

How impressed have you been with fellow full-back Jordan Zemura?

I’ve been really impressed. He’s been training with the team for the past two years so we’ve always seen that quality in training. It’s been great watching him.

What have you made of the youngsters who have been involved this season?

The young players have done a really good job. They’ve been training for a couple years now and all they needed was someone to give them the chance. They have proved how good they are. They haven’t put a foot wrong and have performed to a really high standard.

You achieved two promotions with the Hatters, what made your team so successful?

We had quite a young team, we were all very ambitious, we were playing in League Two at the time but the quality and ambition we had was that everyone wanted to take the step up to the next level.

Nathan Jones, who is the manager there now, brought the best out us and improved every single player.

What’s it been like working under Scott Parker so far?

Really good, it’s been intense for sure, since the first day of pre-season but I think the style of play, the pressing and the way the manager wants to play is really coming through now and, hopefully, we can keep that up until the end of the season.

What has impressed you the most about the new management team?

When we’re going into games, the gaffer and his staff have done so much homework on the opposition, how they play and the style of the play the gaffer wants from us, he knows exactly what he wants from every player in each position.

I think the work that’s gone in on the preparation is evident and makes you realise how he made the most of his playing career.

Who is the best player in the world in your position?

I’ve been a big fan of Kyle Walker for a while now. I think he’s underrated in terms of going forward. He might not get as many assists as others but I’ve never seen anyone go past him.

If you were writing your player profile, how would you describe yourself?

I would like to say an attacking right-back who plays with a high intensity and can defend when called upon.

What are your top three films?

The Godfather, Limitless and Dark Knight. I only watched The Godfather recently. I’d read the book and really enjoyed that. I have to say I think I enjoyed the book more, there was so much to fit into the film that it felt a bit rushed but still one of the best films I’ve watched.

Which book has stuck with you the most?

I like to read a lot of non-fiction and there’s this book called The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday which is about the stoic philosophy and the core is that if you can’t control something, don’t worry about it and focus on what you can control.

Do you have any superstitions?

I used to when I was younger, I always used to put my right shinpad, sock and boot on first but I think I had a few bad games and stopped doing it. I think you realise that it doesn’t affect your performance as you get older.

Are you into the final year of your business degree – how is it going?

It’s going really well. This year is an economics module so most of it is for a dissertation so I’m hoping to do that on the finances behind the Super League or Financial Fair Play at the moment with Covid and how much that has affected club’s finances, which is something I think is really interesting and something that has become more relevant now with the situation we’re in.

Have you been inspired by Simon Francis’ move to assistant technical director?

When he was at the club as a player, I looked up to him as a right-back and everything he’s achieved on the pitch. Hopefully, not something I need to think about for a long time yet but what he’s achieved off the pitch at Bournemouth is something I’d like to do as well.

I’d like to learn exactly what the job entails and while a lot of players might be looking to do something in coaching, I prefer the boardroom side of things and the finances behind it.

What’s your greatest achievement?

Off the field, probably the degree so far, I’ve done five years alongside playing football but in football, playing Premier League football effectively two years after I was released by Reading.

Who has been your toughest opponent so far?

When we were in the Premier League, there was a few. Sadio Mane was very good but I’d say the best was Son Heung-min.

He was relentless and made ten runs in behind and didn’t get the ball and then on the 11th, you switch off and he gets the ball. You don’t realise how quick he is until you’re playing up against him.

Who was your favourite player growing up?

It was David Beckham, I think a lot from my era would say him.

Apart from family and friends, who is the one person you would like to have lunch with and why?

I think Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and Paypal. I listened to a podcast with him on Joe Rogan and I think the way he sees the world and the future of the world is incredible. If there’s a problem, he’ll think of ways to solve it.

For instance, he was on the way to work in LA and he decided he was sick of traffic so he designed a set of tunnels to go under the city to get to work on time so I think the way he views the future would be great to talk about. I’ve also named my dog after him.

How have you found being a dog owner?

Great! Elon is a Pomsky, he’s four months old now. He’s full of energy and we love taking him down to the beach, we went on the paddle board this week so you might see us around!

A version of this feature first appeared in the Luton Town copy of MATCHDAY, the club's programme, in September.

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