TYSON: BACK OFF THE ROPESOver the summer months, doncasterroversfc.co.uk will take a look back at some of the best interviews that have featured in our regular home matchday programme RTID.
RTID is available from the Doncaster Rovers Club shop, Ticket office and all programme vendors for just £3.
This week we take a look at what Nathan Tyson had to say in September prior to a 3-2 win over neigh neighbours Chesterfield.
Talk us through this celebration…
That is a lot of frustration. It’s a lot of relief at not scoring for so long and a lack of football and opportunities.
Are you aware of how long you went without scoring?
I’d rather not know. It was a long time. I think it was Birmingham at home for Derby County so well over a year and a bit. I’ve had a lot of stick and people seem to think I’m not scoring or playing and that I’m injured and I have to say, “Hold on a minute, I haven’t been given the right opportunity. I went to Derby and had my injuries and then in the second season I got shipped out on loan to Millwall after scoring five goals in a few substitute appearances and limited starts. People don’t understand that though, they want to read the stats whereas they don’t realise the circumstances and what I’m doing in games – if I’m not scoring I’m doing something else. It’s been hard for me going on loan and not doing so well and not knowing where I was going in football. I fell out of love with it and nearly retired if I’m honest.”
From that frustration, to this….
That’s a bit of a joke going on between me and the lads. But it shows a contrast from how I was feeling when I’d lost faith in the managers and faith in the game. I wouldn’t go home and watch football. I used to go and watch my daughter play and it used to be hard and I realised I had no motivation for the game. I didn’t watch it, look at results or care. When it got to the end of the season I said to my fiancé that I didn’t know what I was going to do or whether to look at business opportunities. Aged 32 and with me falling in and out of love with the game, it was a dangerous place. I was on holiday though and told her I was going to get in shape even though I didn’t have a club. People were saying my legs had gone and everyone was saying that I couldn’t run and I’d lost my pace. It was heart breaking to feel like that and I thought I was ‘done’. Eventually I got the call and spoke to Theo (Robinson) and the gaffer gave me the opportunity to come and train and the rest is history.
What’s it like to enter the pitch with a smile on your face?
It’s a massive relief for me and my family. They’ve seen a massive change in me. I look forward to coming in to training and it’s good to take a hold of it and enjoy the time I’ve got left in football.
How did you respond to those who said your pace had left you?
I know that I’ve still got it in me but it’s just having the opportunity and that’s the difference – that’s what was missing. I went to Fleetwood and have a lot of respect for Graham Alexander because he helped me through a ‘dodgy phase’ and the fact was that I couldn’t get in to the team and then you start thinking, “I can’t even get in to a League 2 team, what has gone wrong?” as I always believed that I was good enough to be in the Championship so that messed up my head a little.
We’ve just had the international break, you made one England U20’s appearance and scored two goals against Germany, but that was the end of it, why?
I didn’t even get a cap for it! We beat Germany at the Madejski Stadium but was never recalled. I was meant to go to Dubai for a tournament but had turned 21 so couldn’t go. After that, Alan Pardew left and I was getting in the Reading team under him even if it was out wide. Then Steve Coppell took over and I ended going back to being a youth team player sitting in the stands. We sat down and I said that I just wanted to play games, so I went to Wycombe. Any chance of any more internationals had gone.
A bit later in your career you crossed the A52 divide leaving Nottingham Forest for Derby, what was that like?
Painful. I never wanted to leave Forest. We played Swansea in the play-offs and the Chief Executive at the time walked around the changing rooms shaking everyone’s hand and said, “Unlucky, see you next season.” Then he got to me and said, “All the best.” It was a massive kick in the teeth and was surprised that they didn’t want to talk about a contract. I was heartbroken to be honest. At that time I got a call from Derby, and Nigel Clough and, I’d spoken to the likes of Kris Commons who said “do it”. Forest sent me a contract offer through the post to the wrong address and, with nothing on the table and wanting to stay close to the family, I chose Derby. My first job is to be a father to my children and then football and whatever goes with it comes next.
There are a few characters in the game, who’s the biggest one you’ve ever come across?
Let me tell you, Kyle Bennett is not far off. Clint Easton (ex-Wycombe) was one because that guy off the field could not shut up, but on the field you never heard a word from him. Then we come to Jon Parkin, who would be the biggest character I’ve met. I’ve got a lot of time for him. He made my life at Fleetwood so much easier and he’s a great guy with some stories that are just too rude for publication.