Mekki Enjoying Experience
19-year old Aldershot Town forward Adam Mekki has spoken to the Stray Shots about how he is finding life in the First team. There may only have been three chances to see Adam Mekki in action so far this season, but having successfully steered his way through the youth and reserve ranks at the EBB Stadium, the talented 19-year is now catching the eye of Dean Holdsworth as well as supporters, so we caught up with him this week to find out his views on being thrown in at the deep end… Stray Shots: One minute you were off on loan to Carshalton Athletic, the next you’re coming on as a sub getting rave reviews for your performance against Torquay United and then you started against Cheltenham Town… does it seem real? Adam Mekki: "I was sent out on loan to gain some experience playing men’s football and to maintain my fitness so that it would be easier for me to make the transition to League Two football. I was supposed to play for Carshalton for a month, but got called back after my first match for them and assumed I would be on the bench for The Shots, but didn't think I would get on. "During the Torquay match Albert [Jarrett] was suffering from illness and was brought off at half time and the gaffer [Dean Holdsworth] had already prepared me by telling me after about twenty-minutes of the match, that I was going to be coming on. "I knew I was ready to play and went on at half time with no fear and to play my own game. I loved every minute of it and was great to get all three points as well. "At the weekend [against Cheltenham] I didn't really know what was going to happen. There were rumours about me starting, but I didn't believe them, but you have to prepare as if you’re going to be picked so I was ready to play, just in case. "About an hour before kick off, the team sheet was circulated and I saw my name on it and that's when the adrenaline kicked in and I was ecstatic! "The gaffer, Bish [Matthew Bishop] and the rest of the players were very supportive and told me just to repeat Tuesdays performance. Again, I loved every second of playing and after the match the crowd were fantastic towards me, and everyone I know were very pleased for me. It was the highlight of my life so far, and I keep thinking I'll wake up anytime from this dream!" SS: Like Reece Connolly, you’ve made your mark in the clubs Youth and Reserve set up so how much of a shock has it been to find yourself thrown into the First Team? AM: "Me and Reece are good friends and have helped each other along the way, through the youth and reserve matches. It has come at quite a shock as to how six months ago I wasn't playing much reserve football and now I'm starting for the first team. I couldn't be any happier!" SS: You haven’t looked out of your depth in the games that you’ve featured in so far – how have you found the transition? AM: "My father is a great role model for me and I have a lot of respect for him. He always told me to play with no fear, and that is what I have taken with me into the matches. I play my own game and work hard and that means that the outcome takes care of itself. The pace of the game is very fast and I am still not 100% match fit but it will come and I have got a lot more to show." SS: Were your family there to see your “starting” debut? AM: "Unfortunately my father was working and my mum didn't want go by herself, as she didn't know whether I was starting or not! My uncle who is very keen on football, came down from Manchester to watch though, so I did have some family there. My mum and dad were kicking themselves when they found out, but were very proud of me and we went for a meal to celebrate." SS: The mood in the camp appears to have lifted under Dean Holdsworth and Matthew Bishop – how much does the enthusiasm that they display for their roles, rub off on the players? AM: "Training is very enjoyable and all the lads get on really well. The introduction of the new management has been a breathe of fresh air and you could not ask for better management. The performances in training are now being taken onto the pitch and we are getting the results we deserve." SS: Do any of the other players help you with advice on your game? AM: "All the players give me advice and support me. The team is fantastic. Jermaine [McGlashan] talks more about the positional stuff because we play in the same position but Gutts [Luke Guttridge] talks to me about the things I did well and the things I can improve on. But all the lads at some point have supported me and helped me develop." SS: Tim Coe and his team appear to be getting things right at the club with the players that are coming through – how do things differ between Aldershot and Reading where you were previously? AM: "At Reading I was very low on confidence and my performances were dropping gradually. When I signed with Aldershot, I was able to pick my confidence up and develop as a player. Tim [Coe], Geoff [Warner] and Ben [Cobbett] have helped me a lot and have pushed me into the reserves and the first team. It is very organised and training is all about development and has helped me massively to grow as a person and as a player." SS: What are your hopes for the remainder of the season? AM: "I don't want anything to change! I am loving every moment and want us to carry on playing well and picking up as many points as we can. "We deserve to be higher in the table and I will do my very best to help the club achieve it."
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