Matt Smith recently sat down with new signing Donald Love to gain an insight into his career-to-date.
You joined Manchester United as an 8-year-old, ultimately spending 14 years there. What was it like coming through at such a big Club?
“I think when you join so young, you’re just enjoying your footy when you’re young and then as you get older, each age group gets a bit more serious and you think ‘I’m at Man United here, I could actually do something’, but I was just enjoying my footy when I was younger.”
During that time, you made one appearance in the Premier League as well as game time in the Europa League. That must’ve been massive for you?
“I’ll look back more when I’ve finished playing, but I think I’m more proud than anything that I got there, it’s a big Club to play for, it was just a proud moment overall.”
How important was it for you embarking on a loan move to Wigan Athletic?
“That was massive, it was my first loan and it was the right time for me to go out and play men’s football. It was a good place to go and do it, and it was good at the time.”
In 2016, you left Old Trafford permanently for Sunderland. How did you feel leaving Manchester United?
“At the time, I knew my time was done there, you just accept that. Obviously it was another big Club I was going to [Sunderland AFC] so I was just looking forward to it really.”
Spells at Shrewsbury Town and, most recently, Salford City followed, how do you reflect on your time at those Clubs?
“They were good [times], I played quite a bit of football, that’s probably the most football I’ve played over the past few years. I’ve enjoyed it, I played in various positions.”
You’ve played international football for Scotland at youth level for the U17s, U19s and U21s. For a young player, that must’ve been an incredible opportunity.
“It was good, my dad is Scottish so I’m half Scottish, so it was good. I think he was more buzzing than me!”
What were the key things you learned from your time playing international football?
“It was similar to playing foreign teams, just different types of football. It’s like when you come up against foreign players, sometimes they’re a bit different, you see different things in them that you don’t usually see in English leagues, but it was a good experience.”
You’re 27 now, do you have any specific career goals or ambitions between now and when you retire?
“I don’t have any specific ones, but I think you set a few at the start of the year but keep them to yourself. Nothing where it’s too much or too little, hopefully I can just come in and just try to do well every season, that’s my aim.”