Huddersfield Town’s Andy King happy to pass on example he learned from trio of greats

Andy KingAndy King
Andy King | Getty Images
Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Ryan Giggs – when it comes to footballing role models, Andy King has played for some of the best.

Now he has joined Huddersfield Town, the 31-year-old has become on of the players his team-mates look up to.

The Terriers go into tonight’s Championship game at home to Bristol City just two points above the relegation zone.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their perilous position puts more pressure on experienced figures such as 2016 Premier League champions King and Danny Simpson to guide talented youngsters like Emile Smith Rowe and Chris Willock.

“You want a good balance in your group and if your senior players are good professionals, they’ve been exposed to so much and have such a wealth of experience it would be crazy not to tap into that,” argues Cowley. “As a young player I would always try to sit next to the more experienced ones and try to learn from each other.

“Ultimately that’s what our culture is about, trying to create a learning environment where we’re never happy, we’re always humble enough to know we can always get better and we’re striving to improve every single day.”

King’s previous two loans have been at Lampard’s Derby County and Gerrard’s Rangers, while the most recent of his 50 Wales caps have come under Giggs.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’ve been fortunate in my career to work under Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Ryan Giggs, three midfielders I idolised growing up watching the Premier League,” says King.

“To be able to work under them and take their knowledge of the game and try to take pieces from what they said has been brilliant.

“I saw how professional and hard-working they were as managers and I’m sure it was twice that as a player.

“They were great examples for any young player or an old player trying to play for as long as possible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“All three of those lads played well over (the age of) 35, which is what people say the retirement age of a footballer is and I’m not surprised having seen their professionalism as a manager.”

Having learnt from them, King has now turned teacher. He realises he has become a player others look to.

“I’m conscious of that having been at Leicester so long,” he says. “I knew I was a role model there for people from the academy having come through it and achieved a lot with the help of some brilliant team-mates.

“I don’t know the young lads here so well but it’s just about trying to help lads at any age.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“When you can see an experienced player working hard and doing the right things it rubs off on the group and we’re lucky enough here to have a number of lads who are more experienced.

“It doesn’t even have to be an older player, just someone who’s played a lot of games.

“First and foremost he (Cowley) expects us to set the standards and the tempo not just in training but in games as well.

“There were a lot of good senior players here already like Schindy (Christopher Schindler) and Hoggy (Jonathan Hogg) who’ve been brilliant for the club, setting the standards over a number of years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We have to show the other players the way that things need to be done.”

Centre-back Richard Stearman, who joined from Sheffield United in January, is another senior figure and, like King, the 32-year-old conscious of his responsibilities.

“I want to be a leader,” he said. “I want to play well and drag others along as well.

“Everyone needs help. It’s a tough school, the Championship, but I know what it takes and hopefully my experience can help.”

Last six games: Huddersfield Town WLWLDL; Bristol City WWLWLL.

Referee: G Eltringham (Tyne and Wear).

Last time: Huddersfield Town 2 Bristol City 1, December 10, 2016, Championship.