Bolts alum, Will Packwood, discusses playing in England, playing for the Bolts, and what it takes to get to the pro level. Packwood currently plays for Birmingham City in the Championship division of England. He has recently recovered from an injury and is starting for the Blues.
Many scouts say he is an up and coming player who has a shot at being called in to the USMNT down the road:
So what was your experience like playing for the Bolts growing up?
"Playing for Bolts as a kid was fantastic. I really enjoyed the team spirit and I always looked forward to every training session!"
How did the Bolts contribute to where you are today?
"The most important thing I learned with the Bolts was the work ethic and drive to succeed that has kept me in good stead ever since. Obviously developing technically is very important as well, but the Bolts helped me realise its something you have to be driven to do on your own as well as with your team."
What advice would you give to a current Bolts player who wants to become a pro?
"The best advice I can give to kids wanting to become a pro is to believe that its actually possible. I always wanted to be a pro but only when I realised it was genuinely doable did I see that I could make it happen if I was willing to commit to it. On top of that, simply to ensure that you're doing something every day to improve. Whatever it may be as small as kicking a ball about your living room for a laugh. Just to have a ball at your feet as much as possible, watch professional games, really live soccer and love it."
How different is playing soccer overseas in England? How was the international transition? Would you recommend it to young players?
"Playing in England certainly is different and it took a little while to adjust. Its seen as a career from a much younger age and is definitely driven that way. The transition wasn't the easiest but at the same time I was playing soccer every day and there wasn't anything I could have wanted more!"
What is the most significant part of development for a youth player?
"At different ages there are different steps that need to be taken while developing as a player, but possibly the biggest one is the step between youth team/reserve team soccer in professional soccer. The difference in competitiveness is enormous and the realisation that this is a high pressure business where results are everything is an important one. Obviously this tends to come along around the age of 17-22 or so."
Who is your favorite soccer player?
"My current favourite player is Vincent Kompany at Manchester City. When fit he is a fantastic centreback and a genuine leader on the pitch."
What is your favorite pre-game meal?
"I always have a pasta meal the night before and egg on toast around 3.5 hours before kick off."
What is your favorite Boston team?
"I love watching the Patriots play."