Recently I had the chance to speak with current Leeds United star Jack Harrison.
Having spent time in the MLS as the number one draft in 2016, Harrison made 56 appearances scoring 14 goals while receiving plaudits from world class stars like Patrick Viera and David Villa.
After a stellar summer with Manchester City, Harrison has now put together some glorious displays for Leeds this season; including a thunderous strike to earn a point at the New Den.
Being the first player to be called during the MLS must have been a dream come true; how was that for you?
It was incredible. Coming from England, it took a bit to grasp how the MLS Draft actually worked. It was even more exciting when I was immediately transferred from Chicago to NYCFC and had the opportunity to play for Patrick Vieira and alongside David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. It o a great place to begin my professional career.
How have you adapted to the English game from the MLS?
I’m adapting well, more and more each week. You have some top players in the MLS, but the overall level is higher in the Championship. Working with Marcelo and his team is helping me to continue my transition.
Where do you picture yourself in the next five years?
Hopefully playing for Leeds in the Prem! Honestly, I’m not looking past earning my spot in the next game.
You’re mainly described as an inside winger being a left footed right midfielder, can you therefore adapt to both wings?
I actually prefer to play on the right, but am comfortable on the left and even at the 10 role.
When you heard of the interest from Leeds, what was your initial reaction?
Very excited. It’s a massive club with a world-renowned driving force of dedicated fans and obviously with Marcelo, it seemed an opportunity for the taking. I had a few really good options, but Leeds felt right.
Is it true Pep advised you of the potential for a good season at Leeds?
Pep spoke very highly of Marcelo. Both managers expect a lot and you need to always be laser focused in training sessions and matches, so it is a logical fit.
Can you name a player that you’ve had on the back of a football shirt as a kid?
Stevie Gerrard. When I was at Man United Academy, in the first year at Carrington, we had to draw a picture of a favourite player for our peg in the locker room. I spent ages making a Gerrard picture needless to say it disappeared after one week.
What were your favourite pair of boots as a child?
United was a Nike club then, so generally the Tiempo or the original Preds from Adidas.
Ketchup or BBQ sauce?
Ketchup and more so brown sauce actually.
We also had the privilege to speak with Jack’s mum Debbie about Jack’s younger days as a football mad kid.
When did Jack starting show an interest in football?
From as soon as he could walk starting early at 9 months - he starting running around with a little ball. By the time he was 18 months old he was becoming obsessed with Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard and always had a ball at his feet. At 3 and half years old he was playing in a local leisure centre and at the age of 5 years old he was then spotted by a scout from Bolton Wanderers.
When you first heard of Manchester City’s interest, how did you feel about your sons switch to England?
Have you got any fun stories about Jack as a young kid?
Lots of stories. He sleep walks and talks – a lot. I used to find him in the night rummaging around under the bed and in corners of the room and I would ask him what he was doing. He would say “I can’t find my ball”. In the mornings he would get out of bed half asleep, dribble with his ball to the bathroom and then whilst stood at the toilet he would then start to head the light cord at the same time.
One time I was going to bed and I found him in the dark at the top of the stairs on the landing. He was about 9 years old then and I said “Jack what are you doing?”. He put his finger to his lips, his eyes were closed, and he said “ssshhhhhhh, I am just going to chip it”.
We’d like to thank both Jack and Debbie for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best of luck for the season as he continues to make us proud to be Leeds.
Another thanks goes to Remy who made all this happen, best half time cig break I’ve ever had!
By Ryan Ingham