Ajax Cape Town youngster Travis Graham made his debut for the Urban Warriors against Moroka Swallows earlier tseason.
|Travis Graham © Backpagepix
Touted as a top midfield talent by Ajax coach Maarten Stekelenburg, the 19-year-old says he is ready to fulfill that potential.
Were you nervous making your debut against The Birds?
No, not really. People kept telling me not to be nervous, don’t be nervous, but I never really felt the nerves at any stage. I think I kept my composure well and it was a great experience. It is a good start to the season for me and I hope to continue.
What would you say is your best position and who is your role-model?
I am a defensive midfielder and I have learnt a lot from Granwald Scott, my club captain. I have tried to model my game on his because he is such a consistent performer and does the basics brilliantly. In world football, I think Xavi from Barcelona is a brilliant player. He hardly ever has a bad game.
How long have you been at Ajax?
I started out in the Under-11 side, so I have been here 10 years now. I have come through all the age-groups and I know the culture of the club and what is expected. Having had that schooling in the ‘Ajax way’ has certainly helped me in the first team because nothing really changes all the way through. Preparation is the same, the team plays basically the same way. It has been a big help for me.
Have you been capped at junior international level?
No, I was called-up for the national Under-20 side some time ago, but Ajax would not release me.
Which European League do you think would best suit your style?
Well, I have been to Holland a lot over the last few years and recently with the Ajax Under-19 side and I know that the football there would suit me. But other than that, I think Spain. I would love to play in Spain.
Do you come from a footballing family?
My father played in the local leagues in Cape Town, he was a striker, while both my grandfathers played as well, but none professionally.