Tim Payne celebrates after scoring at the OFC U-17 Championship earlier this year

Pictures: Shane Wenzlick

Thursday 3rd November 2011 - Auckland


Q & A WITH TIM PAYNE It has been a big year for Tim Payne and the best might still be to come.

After playing a major role in Waitakere Unitedís success in the ASB National Youth League, Payne went on to play all 360 minutes of the New Zealand teamís campaign at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico. He then returned and was in the Danny Hay-coached Sacred Heart College team who scored a breakthrough win at the Lotto Sports National Secondary Schools premier tournament in Napier.

From there he headed off to Blackburn Rovers.

We catch up with Tim on his brief return home to find out how that came about and what he is looking forward to now.

Q. How did you get to trial at Blackburn?

A. The first contact was through Danny at school. He had been in contact with Ryan Nelsen at Blackburn and it went from there.

Q. What was the initial deal?

A. Initially they offered me a two week trial. I went over on that basis.

Q. But it went on a bit longer?

A. Yes. They were happy with what they saw and it eventually extended out to about eight weeks.

Q. What did the trial entail?

Tim Payne poses for a picture at Fred Taylor Park

A. I was with the reserve team squad and trained with them.

Q. Did you meet Ryan Nelsen?

A. He came to the club on my second or third day and showed me around.

Q. He is injured at the moment so does that mean he had more time to spend with you?

A. Probably not. Injured players tend to spend more time working on their recovery than those who are training.

Q. What was a typical day for you?

A. I was staying in the lodge alongside the clubís ground. We had breakfast and then had either one or two gym sessions and a training session.

Q. What age were the players you were training with?

A. About my age. Around 18-19.

Q. What nationalities?

A. Mostly English but there was an Australian goalkeeper on trial as well as a couple of Irish and Welsh lads and a Spaniard.

Q. Did you see the reserve team play and were you able to take part?

A. I saw a couple of their games but I was not able to play as I was not registered. I did play in about four friendlies though.

Q. Was the training much different from what you had done in New Zealand?

A. It was definitely a step up. Much faster and stronger. They were all really good players.

Q. How do you feel you did?

A. I thought I was doing alright. It was awesome to train every day.

Q. In most games here and for New Zealand you usually play a central midfield role. What position did you play over there?

A. Mainly right wing which was a bit foreign but once I got used to it I enjoyed it.

Q. What happens next?

A. I am back here for a couple of weeks. I have to get my work visa sorted out. Having an English grandfather helps that. Once that is done I plan to go back. I canít sign professional forms until I am 18 which is in January. If everything goes well thatís what I hope to do.

Q. Has there been any interest from other clubs or is it just Blackburn in the frame?

A. Just Blackburn at this stage. There is a great set-up there and Iím more than happy with that.

Q. Was there a huge difference in the standard that you saw there and what you have seen at home?

A. Iím sure some players here could cope. They have the ability but it is more a thing of a rugby culture here versus a soccer culture there. The coaches I have had here Ė Chris Turner, Neil Emblen, Darren Bazeley and Danny Hay -- are very good. I have always had good coaches and Iím sure that has helped me.

Q. Finally, did you see any of the Rugby World Cup over there?

A. I was lucky enough to get back on the morning of the final and saw that. I also saw the All Blacks games and a couple of others while I was there.



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