ANDRE FELIPE DA SILVA MENDES
Andre Felipe Da Silva Mendes
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So André – tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Andre, I’m 17 years old, and currently I’m a goalkeeper at Morecambe FC. I’m Portuguese, was born in Brazil where I spent 6 years of my life then moved to Portugal where I first had contact with actual football and played football for a team. I only started playing football because of my cousin, which is one year older than me, I went to watch him on his first session with the club and the coach invited me to join. I got put straight in the goal, even without gloves, and from there I never thought about the possibility of playing in other positions, especially because I was enjoying what I was doing.
How important is football for you ? And who is your biggest inspiration?
Football was always a big thing for me, but it was when I spent two years in Benfica that I actually started to have a different perspective and realise that I could build my life around football, so from there I started to take football as a possible job. There was also where I met Ederson and so far he has been the player I looked up to.
Why did you start playing football? And were you immediately a goalkeeper?
I only started playing football because of my cousin, which is one year older than me, I went to watch him on his first session with the club and the coach invited me to join.
What are your specific qualities as a goalkeeper ?
I think my shot stopping and reaction time are my strong points as a goalkeeper.
André, you’re from Portugal right ? How did you get into the youth of Morecambe FC ?
I got my first change to prove myself for Morecambe at a trial game where my agent managed to get me that opportunity. From there the club showed great interest.
I am really grateful to my agent Arthur Ramos and to be part of Ultra Soccer’s project, thanks to him, my family and everyone involved I’m here.
This season, you began your senior career at Morecambe FC. Did you noticed a lot of difference between the youth academies and the ‘big’ Morecambe ?
I wouldn’t say I began my senior career as I still a scholar, but yes I see a big difference between the youth academy and first team, especially in terms of physicality, speed of the game and how the game is played, this is mainly because, as I got told before, first team is not really a place to learn but to perform.
How do you balance your football and your school ?
Balance school and football has never been an issue for me, it was harder before when I used to be in school all day, train at night and stay up until late doing homework, but now as the amount of hours at college is not big, is easier.
Do you ever want to go back to Portugal to play football there?
Yes, I would like to go back to Portugal to play football, but this is if it is the best option for me to succeed, obviously. This is because, I really enjoyed play football in England but at the same time is hard to be away from my family.
André, what are your personal goals for this season?
My personal goal for this season is make my debut for the first team and perform at my best in the youth team games when I’m involved. The goal of a professional contract is also there, but that is not something to worry about because if the hard work is there every day, these things will come.
What is your ultimate dream in your football career ?
My ultimate dream, still very distant, but would be one day win the world cup either with Brazil or Portugal. Back in to reality, I prefer to take one day at the time.