Below is an old interview with ex-Diamond (and 2007-2008 Fans’ Player of the Year) Andy Burgess, taken from the old fans’ forum.
11. ANDY BURGESS
Player of the Year 2007-08
Firstly, you have been voted Player of the year, how does that feel?
Fantastic. It is the first time I have won a Player of the Year Award in my senior career and it is a very proud moment. I feel i have added a degree of consistancy to my game this season, something that has been lacking throughout my career. For that i have to say thank you to the Gaffer, who has been excellent to me personally and Kevin Hales who unfortunately isn’t at the club anymore.
Who would you have voted for? (excluding your good self)
Probably Curtis Woodhouse. I think pound for pound (no pun intended!!) he has probably been the most consistant perfomer this season, even when the chips have been down he has kept going, kept battling and drove us on. I think Tom Shaw, although he hasn’t played probably as much as he’d have liked has done well too.
It’s been a tough season Andy, why didn’t it go the way as the fans hoped?
I think we have suffered in front of goal, and haven’t scored goals or finished teams off when we should have done. We have defended pretty well this season, and our goals against stats shows that, but games that we have drawn we should have won and at the end of the day, goals win games. When we won the conference, Darbs scored 27 and Jacko scored 23 – 50 goals between your front pair goes a hell of a long way.
Your performances have been a particular high point this season, but what was the best moment this season, for you?
Rushden & Diamonds 5 Oxford United 0. Enough said!! No, it was a dream night really, especially watching it back on Setanta when I got home and watching how they had ‘bigged’ the game up as me against Jim Smith, and his comments before the game.
This league is now very strong, and it’s only getting stronger, do you think the Diamonds can ever return to the league?
Definately, 100%. I think everybody will have learnt from this season, from the good points and the bad points, and I honestly believe next season, with a some additions to the squad that I am sure the Gaffer is preparing, along with keeping the nucleus of what is a squad with a great blend of youth and experience together, we will be very strong. The league is strong, but I dont think there were any outstanding teams this season. I think Aldershot have a lot of young legs that got about the pitch, and 2 quick wingers who against slow full backs would be dangerous – but as the the Gaffer said to Curtis Osano and Dean Howell before the Setanta Shield final – we’ve got two Mercedes at full back, they’ve got two Metro’s on the wing!!
Who do you think will join Aldershot in the Football League next season?
I hope Torquay do to be honest, because I have a few old team mates there and its a trek to get too!! Basically, I hope Chris Hargreaves makes it with them, because I became and still am very good friends with him from last season and I know how much it hurt him when we lost in the play off semi finals with Oxford.
After missing a penalty in the Setanta Shield Final, did it take a lot of courage to step up to take the second one?
Well, as soon as Abs won the penalty, Woddy looked at me and said “do you want it Burge?”. Without really thinking I said “yes”, then put the ball on the spot, stepped back and thought, “what the hell am I doing!”. Looking back now, I am delighted i had the opportunity to atone for the miss so quickly afterwards, as I know it would have haunted me for a long time, and i probably wouldn’t have taken one ever again. I am still very disappointed that I missed the first one, but I take heart in the fact that I dont think it was a particulary bad penalty, but a very good save. I think taking the next two, and having to mentally out think and deal with the mental pressure that the goalkeeper was putting me through with his actions and words, has made me a better player and a stronger individual.
What personal targets did you set for the 2007-08 season?
None at all, I dont think I have set a personal target in my career and I never will. As a player, I beleive you walk out onto the pitch and every game you want to play well, score a goal and win the game. Anything else is a bonus and if you dont perform the way you would like or as well as you like, believe me, no one is more disappointed than you as a player. I very rarely sleep at night after games, as the game replays in my head over and over. You tend to beat yourself up inside with the things you have done poorly, and take heart from the things that you do well.
What are you hoping for next season?
On a personal note, i’d like to stay fit for the whole season. I dont think I have had that luxury at all throughout my career and it does becoming frustrating when you pick up niggling injuires or suffer more long term serious one’s. For the club, I think its everyone’s wish to give the supporters something to cheer about, to make sure we start well so that we dont leave too much to do to reach the business end of the season with something special to play for. Obviously my wish for next season is to get Rushden back into the Football League, and then secure a new contract for myself at the club so that I can get close to Garry Butterworth’s all time appearance record for the club. To acheieve those two things, promotion and a new deal, would be magnificent.
Do you feel that your team, Luton Town can return to League One under Mick Harford?
Yes, I think Mick is the man to take ‘us’ back up! I have had the pleasure of meeting him a few times over the last couple of years as he is good frinds with my agent, and I know he has the desire and passion to do the best for the football club. He has had a good couple of years in coaching as well with Colchester and QPR so I think he is the right man to take us back up.
How do you feel Fabio Capello has done in his opening games as England Head Coach?
I dont think we can judge him just yet on what he has done, although he has tried to stamp his authority on the squad and thats important. I think its important that Becks is in the squad, because I think he is still one of the best players in the world, and Owen Hargreaves is for me the best holding central midfielder in the world so he should definately play.
My England team would be:
CM Hargreaves; (I presume he means Owen, not Chris..)
LM J Cole;
So if he picks that team i’m all for him!!