In the next in our series of “In the Spotlight” we’ll be talking to our ace stopper and clean sheet merchant Sam Mott on the season to date plus the highs and lows of his career so far.
What is your occupation?
I’m a locksmith at London Bridge. Been doing that for around 6 years now. It’s my uncle’s firm and I joined when I was 21 (years of age).Yeah, we’ve got a workshop up there and we go all around town so yeah it’s good.
Who is your footballing hero?
Personally, it was my old man. He got me into my football and he has been by my side the whole way, so any decision I make through football is him. From a footballing perspective, being a big West Ham fan it was Ludek Miklosko. I used to love him, absolutely love him. He wasn’t technically the best but heart and passion and all of that, he used to get stuck in and yeah, he was just quality.
What is the best nickname for one of your current team mates? (you probably make them up knowing you!)
There are loads, yeah. We call James Morrish “ginger” he isn’t (ginger) but he has got a bit of a ginger beard and he hates it! He absolutely hates it. So yeah, that’s probably the best one! Because it annoys him the most!
How would you analyse the season thus far?
It’s been, the majority, has been good I think but just frustrating. You look at it and we’ve lost the least, let in the least and we haven’t scored as much as we would’ve liked but we lost George and some of your goals are going to go but Leon and Ross have been brilliant. I think that if we would’ve converted some of those draws into wins and with two of the games that we drew with Tilbury and Witham at home, it has been frustrating.
Teams like Maldon remind me a bit of Cray Wanderers, they just pass it and pass it and pass it in their own half and they don’t really get anywhere.
I think the draws have definitely cost us and if we would’ve converted half of those draws into wins then we would be a few points clear. We’re still pushing to win it so play offs are an absolute minimum but I still think and believe that we can push and win it.
Best piece of advice received as a footballer?
Probably just what most people here and to “never stop believing in yourself”. So no matter what anyone says to you and stuff like that, you’ve got your own confidence and people around you and your family and your friends believe in you which helps/
How long have you been at the club now? Where did you start off?
This is my third season now. I started off really young at, what was, Gravesend which has now turned into Ebbsfleet. I was actually at Charlton when I was a kid at 16 and then I moved onto Ebbsfleet from 16-20 (years of age) and then I went onto a few other clubs like Ramsgate then Thamesmead for a couple of years then Welling. So I got injured at Welling then I went to East Thurrock (terrible, didn’t like it there at all!) then back to Thamesmead and then onto (AFC) Hornchurch.
So, are you a Kent boy then looking at a few of your previous clubs?
Well I was born in Basildon then moved over to Kent when I was younger, so yeah, I’m still there now.
Do you feel responsible for every goal that you concede?
Some of them I do and as a ‘keeper, sometimes you make blatant errors and I’ve made a few here but it’s just natural. I watch every goal (that I concede) again, and see if I could’ve done better and I’m pretty honest with myself so sometimes I do think that yeah, I can do better. I say it and especially nowadays everything gets filmed so there’s no point saying “I could’ve done better” when you realise you were flat-footed etc. So I do look at every goal and if I could’ve done better I just hold my hands up!
There are rumours around the camp that you’ve had a bit of a hair transplant, is that true? (Jimmy specifically requested that I ask Sam this, sorry Jim!)
I knew he pulled you in here to tell you to ask me that! Yeah, I went to the same place as Jimmy (to get the hair transplant). My hair is flying, I don’t have to elaborate on that!
Best game that you’ve ever played in?
I think, team wise, the semi-final win at Thurrock when we won 2-0, I was happy with my performance as I made a couple of saves but on the whole we were just brilliant. Junior Luke was absolutely flying, he was unplayable.
Personally, I think I played well against Maidstone away for (AFC) Hornchurch and also, Tilbury at home last season. I had a couple of good games for Welling when we played Chelmsford at home so yeah, I’d say those three really.
With the Maidstone one; what was it like playing on a plastic pitch?
It was alright, it’s probably the best one (plastic pitch) around! You can just tell the difference. You’ve got Haringey who have got a new one this year and I think you can tell a difference between them. You’ve got a £300,000 one and a £100,000 one so you can definitely tell the difference.
Best mate at the club?
I’ll have to say this otherwise he’ll cry! Georgey Purcell.
Best side you’ve come up against this season?
Maldon at their place, we were terrible but they were pretty good. I’d say Maldon.
Where were your first memories/experiences of football?
My first real memory of football was going over to see West Ham for the first time. We played Stockport County at home and we drew 1-1. My old man took me for the first time.
I remember playing out on field (once) and then I got stuck in goal and I’ve never come out!
Favourite away ground?
I’ve only played there a couple of times but I enjoyed playing at Maidstone. Just because they’re a big club and they always get big crowds over there and the pitch isn’t too bad either.
As a supporter, probably Old Trafford. I’ve been there a couple of times with West Ham and one of the times we lost 7-1 in the FA Cup and that was just terrible but the atmosphere was just unbelievable.
Finally, realistic aims for the season?
To win the title and get promoted!
Interview by Mitchell Walker (AFC Hornchurch Supporters’ Association)