FC Halifax Town: Drench kept illustrious company as a youngster

Steve Drench

Steve Drench

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Town’s new keeper Steve Drench learned his trade among fairly illustrious company.

Drench started his career at Blackburn and trained with the likes of Brad Friedel, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Dino Baggio.

“Some of the things Baggio would do in training - you’d just stand there and clap.

“Training with the first team was a great experience.

“The facilities at the academy were brilliant and you’re training with quality players so I’d like to think that brought me on.

“But I know lads who started with Rochdale and Bury who got their opportunity earlier in the first team because those clubs can’t afford to get someone in on loan or spend £5m on another keeper.

“Three of the goalkeepers were injured at Blackburn once and I thought I might get on the bench, but they got someone in on loan.

“It can be very difficult to break through.”

Drench also played for England as a youngster, and shared a room with Wayne Rooney when they played together for the England under 15s.

“He was a quiet lad. There was a lad in front of him at the time called Darryl Proffitt who was at Man City, so Rooney wasn’t first choice.

“But he started to kick on at Everton and he was off up to the next age level.

“You could tell he had something about him but I don’t think anyone would have said he’d end up where he is now.”