Sam Cartwright – Centreback

Sam Cartwright – Centreback A little bit about me, my name is Sam Cartwright, I’m 16 years old and a 1st year centre back for the Youth Team at Peterborough United. I’m from St Neots, about 25 minutes from Peterborough and have been at the Posh since the age of Under 12.

As a centre back, I would describe myself a ball playing defender and if I were to compare myself to a professional player, I’d say I have a similarity to Jan Vertonghen. I must admit, I’m pleased with myself so far as I’ve started the season well, albeit with a sending off in my first game, but since then I’ve kept my place in the team and done well. Collectively, as a team, I do think that we could have started better in terms of results though – we’ve played well as a passing team but haven’t won as many games as we’d like.

As a centre back, my primary role is to make sure I defend and win my battle with the opposition’s striker. This could be from marking them at corners to reading the game and positioning myself to intercept a dangerous pass. I head into every game with a goal of achieving a clean sheet. This week in training has really helped because we’ve been working on the attacking play, which means that I’ve been having to defend. Something that I’ve learnt this week in training is that, although our team might be on the attack, it’s really important to keep switched on and organise my defence in case we lose possession on the ball.

When I say organising my defence, I mean communicating to the other defenders to squeeze further up the pitch and maintain a high line of defence and also communicating to a midfielder to remember to defend instead of leaving the defence wide open to a counter attack!

I have a few targets for this season, both determined by myself and my coach; I want to play for the Under 21’s team as many times as I can and also improve my heading, because I know that as a centre back, heading is an important part of my game. Something that does help in my development is having a first team buddy and I’m lucky enough to have 2 – Jack Baldwin and Rico Santos, which really helps in discussing areas to improve.

In terms of this season, I think we as a youth team have a great chance of making a success of it and also, I have to say that Morgan Penfold looks like he could go onto to big things as he’s already made his first team debut at 17 years old. In terms of another player to watch, I think Da Silva Lopes has potential to have a big impact on the first team’s season.

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