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McClafferty: “It felt amazing to make my debut”

FG caught up with 15-year old Paddy McClafferty about making his senior debut for CD San Roque a few weeks ago, advice on playing abroad and more.

We asked Paddy how his move to CD San Roque came about, “I have been playing for San Roque since I was 8 Years old (pre-benjamin) for a team named Naranjitos which then converted into Club San Roque. I was invited by a friend to train with San Roque – I decided to give it a go and since then I took an immediate like to the team.”

Paddy made his senior debut for CD San Roque in their 2-1 win over Atletico Espeleno two weeks ago – we asked him how it felt, “When I was told it was time for me to play, I was very excited and I wanted to play immediately! I remained calm and focused and didn’t think of anything else but playing my role and doing my job on the pitch. It felt amazing to make my debut and a great sense of achievement!”

We asked Paddy how playing in Spain has impacted him as a player, “Playing in Spain has improved my football skills and knowledge of the game. The pace and intensity of the matches in Spain are excellent and challenging however this is what I love about it. It helps me to progress as a player as I am constantly being challenged.”

Playing abroad for any footballer is difficult, whether how young or old, – Paddy had some advice for those young footballers looking to make the massive step to play over the boarder or anywhere in the world, “Players of my age or younger who want to play abroad should definitely try it and move out of your comfort zone. Playing abroad takes discipline and courage but if you want to thrive anywhere as football, this is what it takes.”

Making his senior debut at 15, involved in the Gibraltar U16’s – Paddy gave us an insight into his goals for the next five years, “Sign a professional contract for a 1st division team. Advance my skills and grow as a footballer. Succeed not only with my football but with my academic grades and results. To make it pro and slowly work my way up the ranks.”

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