Exclusive Interview

Andros Townsend reveals all: From the goal nominated for the Puskas award to a loan spell in Yeovil

Looking back nearly over a year now, on the 22nd December 2018, Crystal Palace defeated Man City 3-2 who then went on to be crowned Premier League champions a few months later. It wasn’t only Crystal Palace who were in the history books; Townsend was also for the incredible volley which thumped into the back of Ederson’s net.  

“It was a special goal against a special team because we ended up shocking the champions” said Townsend

“The technique managed to somehow catch it sweetly” admitted Townsend who to this very day still doesn’t quite remember what happened- it all being a bit of a blur for the forward. Eight months after that goal, it was announced by FIFA that Townsend was nominated for the Puskas Award alongside Messi and Ibrahimović.

“When you go through the list and see yourself against the likes of Messi, probably for a player like myself it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“It was a special goal and I’m sort of known for my wonder goals throughout my career but nothing was ever quite like that one” revealed Townsend.

This interview was at a charity event called Football Beyond Borders which helps unite people who have had problems and troubles throughout their lives by using football as an escapism. This charity resonates with Townsend who had issues and was excluded from school.

“I’ve been excluded from school so I know what these kids are going through. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a project like this and they should be grateful for the people who care for them” acknowledged Townsend

But what many people are unaware of is that Townsend’s career wasn’t the smoothest having nine loan spells. His first of many was at Yeovil Town at the age of 17 when he went on loan with his Spurs team mate at the time [Jonathan Obika].

“It was a real eye-opener and we had to grasp it at a very young age” he explained.

“You go from a place where I was living at home, where everything is done for you and then all of a sudden you are on a train to Yeovil and you’re staying underneath a pub. At the time we went to the nearest Argos and bought an electric stove and we were illegally cooking in our hotel room!” said Townsend who had to adapt quickly to such different surroundings.

The one word that comes to mind when you talk about Townsend’s career is resilience. That is exactly what happened when he was released by Tottenham at the age of fifteen.

“There was dialogue between my mum and the academy director back and forth for the next 24 hours. I don’t know whether my mum persuaded them or not or whether I was allowed to train but that was the case.”

Throughout his loan spells, not only did Townsend gain experience, he also gained the knowledge to understand the player he would become. This was evident at his final loan spell in the 2012/13 season at QPR.

“I bounced around the lower leagues for a few years. It wasn’t until at QPR where I went from a good youngster to potentially a Premier League player and that was the loan that showed me, I was more than good enough for this level.

Townsend did however deny his chances of getting back in the England squad at this current moment having been in and out of the Palace team this season.

“The first few games didn’t start well and I probably rightly lost my place” admitted Townsend.

“First and foremost, I need to get back into the Crystal Palace team and I’m fully focused on that so you never know but we’ll have to see what happens in the future.”

By Daniel Lambert