Jake Turner is a central midfielder who plays for Essex outfit Brightlingsea Regent. The energetic midfielder has an eye for goal and has scored two great goals in front of the Back of the Net cameras. Jake talked to us about his line of work, his ability to score great goals and more!
Tell us about ‘Sport for Confidence’ and the work you do
The model places healthcare professionals into leisure centres to work alongside coaches to provide sporting opportunities to people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and a range of other health needs. My role as a health professional is to make reasonable adjustments, break down barriers within a leisure centre and work closely with coaches to ensure that segregated sections of society have the opportunity to take part in sporting sessions which are accessible, adaptive, active and fun! Sport can be so much more than just sport, it can have a positive impact on a person’s mental wellbeing, physical health and overall quality of life.
What are your earliest memories of playing football, what got you into playing the game?
I started playing at the age of eight, my dad took me over to the local football team in our area at the time; Great Bradfords FC and I stayed there until the age of 16. I just remember being the shortest player in the team for the whole 8 years!
Who have been the toughest opposition you have faced this season?
The likes of Dulwich and Folkestone have lots of talented players, however for me personally I found Hendon were the toughest team I have played against as a central midfielder. There midfield was forever rotating making it extremely difficult to mark and play against.
Who is the best player you have played with… and who is the best player you have played against?
When I was younger I played with Connor Wickham but in terms of the present, I played with Michael Cheek a few years back before he got a move to Braintree Town and then Dagenham and Redbridge. An explosive striker who could ghost past people and find the bottom corner for fun.
I have played against Jonjo Shelvey when I was younger, he was a talent back then and no surprise he made it to the top.
You have scored two great goals in front on the Back of the Net cameras now, are set pieces and long-range efforts something you work on?
I have always worked on set pieces in and around the box which has helped in finding the net on matchdays. As a player I strive to ensure I never give the ball away whether it’s a 10-yard pass or 50-yard pass and to accomplish that; technique is everything, so I suppose over time it has aided in helping me score long range efforts! However, I am happy to say that you guys could be my lucky omen of late!
What is the best piece of advice you have been given in football?
My dad once said to me ‘there is only one variable you can control on a matchday and that’s work rate. You give 100% effort and the rest will follow’.
What is your favourite dish/cuisine?
I love a roast dinner every Sunday!
If you could change one rule in football, what would it be?
I think the rule has been changed recently, however still players seem to get away with it, when taking a penalty players that stop and start mid run up, I don’t think that’s fair. Players have the advantage anyway, they should have to run up to the ball in one motion, no stopping.
Who is your favourite footballer, past or present?
When growing up I was obsessed with David Beckham, I still am now to be fair! Will never forget the moment he scored the free kick against Greece in 2001 to send England to the World Cup. Currently I could sit and watch Moussa Dembele all day for Spurs.
What has been the best game you have been involved in?
Blimey – hard question. When I was 17 I got a call up to Braintree Town first team away to Luton Town, it was a Wednesday night, the stadium had 10,000 fans watching and we won 3-2. Quite an achievement for just a pub team from Essex. Bear in mind I didn’t get on, I had a great time pinging the balls around at half time!
And finally, what is unique about Brightlingsea Regent?
Where do I start! It’s a club supported by the Ultra’s week in week out who act as our 12th man, it’s driven by volunteers who work tirelessly to keep the club to a high standard. It offers opportunity to youngsters to progress through the ranks and management who offer opportunity for first team football. The club’s ethos welcomes anyone to the Taydal Stadium to enjoy non-league football at its best, and to never under estimate little old Brightlingsea Regent.