In our first interview of the new season, striker Jordan Cover talks about his career as an MC, what we can expect from the Premier Division and reflects back on the progress made by the club in the last 5 years.
Jordan, firstly, what have you been up to this summer?
Just been gigging, everyone knows what my life’s like outside football, it’s absolutely manic. Basically gigging all over Europe.
It looked fantastic at the weekend at Glasgow.
It was a lot of fun. Then there was 13,000 people at the Wales gig. It’s been a bit mad, it’s really took off in the last say 2 years, I’ve been busier than I ever have been.
It’s been a bit different to what you were doing before?
I’ve kind of changed what I do a little bit because I figured I don’t want to be working in these clubs for the rest of my life, I want be performing on bigger stages. If I’m sacrificing a lot of my life to go out and perform at weekends I want to have something. To earn more I’ve got to do a better job, no one wants to hear me, an MC, on a stage chatting nonsense, you’re there to hype the crowd up.
Since I started doing that it’s took off, they want me to perform on bigger stages because my stage presence and charisma are good. It’s going really well. And that’s why I’m pretty much never here!
Moving on to the Colls goal scoring record that Jordan is closing in on.
I’m 3 or 4 off! I was looking to get it by the end of last season, I think everyone could see how desperate I was in the last game to score, but it wasn’t happening, but that’s football! I’m sure I’ll get it, keep finding those opportunities to score. I’ve only got to bag a few more, then I can quit. As soon as I take the mantle, as soon I get to the number 1, I can never play football again (laughs).
The level of football we are at now is higher than we’ve ever been at, what are you anticipating, are you expecting better quality of opposition, less chances?
What I noticed last year (and the year before), we played a few teams in this division, and there’s not really many weaknesses. When we’ve played in the leagues below, even last season, you’d always find a certain weakness, especially as a striker I’m trying to find the weakest defender. You can’t switch off, you have to give 110% for the full 90 minutes in order to find your chances.
Is it now a bit more of a mental rather than physical challenge as welll?
Absolutely! You’ve got to be totally switched on because a lot of these players have played at an even higher level. They know what they’re doing, the communication is great, they mean business.
But the physical side of it, they’re all fit, there’s not a single player in this league who’s unfit. You can’t mess about in this league, you have to be absolutely committed or you will get found out.
Where is your own fitness at currently, you did a 30 minute stint against Trafford?
It’s been slow because of my gigs, and I’ve got a couple niggling injuries.
Pre-season was amazing, brilliant! I was a bit gutted that I couldn’t be a part of as many as I wanted to. Watching the lads, how we beat Al-Ittihad, they were great. The way we represented ourselves against Salford and Chorley, I was proud to be a part of it and see how far we’ve come as a club.
Me, Cleggy, Ben, Grimmy and Jake Kenny, we’ve all been here from the start. I don’t think that 5 years ago you’d have dreamed of this. I remember us getting beat by Clitheroe in the Lancs FA Cup semi-final (Clitheroe then being two divisions above us) and then last season in an interview the Clitheroe manager said they aspired to be like Atherton Colls. It was like wow! What a fast turnaround. Watching them then, they were like a professional team compared to us. It’s been phenomenal.
The work that Cleggy, Healdy, Baz, even Woz (Jones) and Scott Campbell, all the way through, it’s not gone unnoticed, without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. Cleggy doesn’t allow us to rest on our laurels, straight away, when we win something we celebrate and then it’s “what’s the next challenge?”. Keep ticking them off, keep setting records. That’s what it’s all about. When we’re not playing anymore, when we’re not in football anymore, it’s all about your legacy that you leave behind.