MK Dons v Doncaster Rovers - Omar Bogle getting in tune during lockdown

OMAR BOGLE is someone who likes to hit the right notes off the pitch as well as on it.

While many footballers binge on Netflix series or spend hours on games consoles during their lengthy leisure time, the Doncaster Rovers striker is somewhat different.

He records music.

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It has provided therapy during an eclectic career which has taken in spells at nine clubs in his time as a professional.

In tune: Doncaster's Omar Bogle. Picture: AHPix

In a week when many have taken time out to reflect on the anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK, Bogle is no different, with his love of music giving him a valuable outlet to express his thoughts during this tough spell.

It came into its own during plenty of spare time last year when he was unwanted by parent club Cardiff City and contemplating his next step after a loan spell at Dutch club Den Haag was cut short due to suspension of European leagues due to Covid-19 last March.

Bogle told The Yorkshire Post: “For a lot of people in lockdown, you have a lot more time on your hands for reflecting and self-growth. I feel that I’ve done that.

“I looked at mistakes I have made in my career and life and you want to reflect and think: ‘Going into the next chapter, how can I get better and improve myself?’ I have done a lot of that.

Sunderland's Luke O'Nien (right) and Doncaster Rovers' Omar Bogle battle for the ball (Picture: PA)

“I have been writing music for a long time, but have never released anything. But I made the decision in lockdown that I will start releasing music while I am playing as it is a passion of mine.

“It has been my therapy; I talk about my life and headspace I am in and reflect on that in my music. My inspiration comes from my own experiences and I make stories from that and put the words into a song.

“Training here finishes and by two o’clock I will be probably be sitting with my missus and my cat probably watching TV or something (otherwise).

“So we have a lot of time on our hands and I use it for a lot of the time to write music and relax.”

Doncaster Rovers interim manager Andy Butler (Picture: PA)

Just as music is important in Bogle’s life, so retaining full trust in the manager whom he works under is key in a work sense.

His number of clubs at the age of 27 suggests that some relationships have not worked out, it is fair to say. It is something that Bogle would not disagree with.

Time is still on his side and after difficult spells at Wigan and Cardiff in particular, Bogle has found himself at Doncaster, not too far away from the place where he found a loving footballing home in Grimsby.

Bogle’s spell at Blundell Park from June 2015 to January 2017 was rewarding and goal-laden with a haul of 32 goals in 68 league appearances being pretty head-turning.

He quickly became a hit with Mariners supporters, who had their own inimitable song for their star striker, whose strong relationship with managers Paul Hurst and Marcus Bignot – a guiding light during their previous time at Solihull Moors – reaped dividends on the pitch.

The vibes are also good with current ‘gaffer’ Andy Butler.

Bogle, who has netted twice in eight games for Rovers, added: “The first thing I think is: ‘What manager am I going to play for?’ Every player is different, but for me, having the support of the manager is the most important thing as it helps me be relaxed.

“I have got an opinion and I need to repay the gaffer for the faith he has in me and that drives me to be the best I can be. In life, not everyone gets those opportunities.

“Darren (Moore) obviously gave me that opportunity to sign and Buts has come in and carried it on and enforced it even more for me to go and express myself and really get back to my best.”

In his own words, Bogle is in ‘a good space’ again – a far cry from his time at Cardiff. Ahead of leaving last year, the forward posted a tweet which read: “Unappreciated, undervalued and misjudged but the best of me is going to be someone’s treasure once again. I have the reins on my life! #Maverick.”

They could be lyrics to a song.

Being a leader as opposed to a maverick is where he is at now for Bogle, a senior figure in the Rovers dressing room at a key juncture in their season.

The Midlander, who joined Rovers on an 18-month deal from Charlton in January, said: “My dad has always told me for years about my leadership qualities and exerting my personality more when I am in teams.

“I don’t think I have really done it to the extent of what I do with it now. I suppose that comes with a lot of self-affection and being in the right environment and having the backing of the staff behind me to say: ‘Go on, rub off on the boys and give them some guidance’.

“I see the players have a respect for me and they know I am only trying to help them and do what I can to guide them in the right way as we all need it.

“Even with me now, Copps (James Coppinger) guides me and he was speaking to me (this week) and helped me with my game and mentally. He is a lot older than me and takes it on his shoulders to be a leader.”

As for the leaders and players whom Bogle draws inspiration from, both have few peers.

“My favourite player of all time is Thierry Henry as I am an Arsenal supporter and then it’s Cristano Ronaldo,” Bogle remarked.

“That started from his work ethic to get to where he is now.

“He made me realise from a young age where you can get to in terms of hard work and the difference between not working hard and working harder and staying after training and doing that extra bit in the gym in terms of how far it can take you.”

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