Jadon Sancho opens up on ‘wake-up call’ at Watford that kickstarted his journey to stardom as Borussia Dortmund star reveals he used to turn up to Sunday League matches to get a game!
- Jadon Sancho has opened up on his difficulties initially settling in at Watford
- The Dortmund star joined the Hornets aged 9 and went to boarding school
- Sancho would land himself in trouble and received a warning from the club
- He says the experience has allowed him to be more adaptable and independent
Jadon Sancho has revealed how a warning to ‘fix your attitude’ from Watford as a youth player was the ‘wake-up call’ that kickstarted his journey to becoming one of world football’s best young players.
The Borussia Dortmund winger has thrived since moving to Germany from Manchester City as a 17-year-old in 2017, having come through the ranks at Watford before moving up north.
Sancho was scouted as a nine-year-old by the Hornets when he was spotted playing in Kennington, south London, and has gone on to enjoy huge success in his young career.
Jadon Sancho has opened up on the ‘wake-up call’ that kickstarted his journey to stardom
Sancho was scouted by the Hornets as a youngster growing up in Kennington, London
But the path to success was not simple for the England international.
He revealed that he would even have to sometimes turn up to Sunday League football in the hope of finding a game, and that he found life in Watford tough at first.
‘I used to just turn up to Sunday League and usually there’d be a player that didn’t turn up for a team so I would replace them and just play,’ he told Pro Direct Soccer’s Pavement to Pitch show.
‘I was about seven. I’d turn up and play in a tournament.
‘My dad used to take me sometimes, some of my dad’s friends too. From there that’s where the connections happened and people started talking.’
He was warned about misbehaviour that put him on the right path and he went on to thrive
Sancho also revealed that he would turn up to Sunday League football looking for a game
Sancho was picked up by Watford’s development centre, and signed a contract after one training session with the youth team.
The 20-year-old opened up on a difficult first year after moving into boarding school with the club.
‘From Year 7 I went to boarding school at Watford,’ he revealed. ‘I was fortunate enough they paid for everything and took me out of the area.
‘I think that was the toughest year for me because I never left my mum or sisters or anyone. All I knew was South East London and I didn’t know how to adapt very well so that first year I was getting detention nearly every week, my head was just gone because I was missing everyone.
‘Then I had a wake up call in Year 8 because Watford came to me and said “if you don’t fix your attitude we will have no choice but to release you.” So from there I changed.
Sancho is one of world football’s top youngsters and been heavily linked to Manchester United
‘In Year 8, Year 9 that’s where I started having manners and conducting myself better.’
Sancho moved further north to Manchester where he developed as one of the top youth products in the country. He revealed that he was taken aback by Dortmund’s interest in signing him.
‘It’s crazy because playing in England I would never have thought my path would take me to Germany.
‘So when they came in it was mad interesting, I thought “am I ready for this mad step to go to Germany or am I not ready yet?”
‘[After going to boarding school and Manchester] I have been able to stay by myself and motivate myself when I’m alone. So it helped me a lot to make that big step to Germany.’
Sancho could make a return to Manchester this summer, with United heavily linked with a move for the English attacker.
But Dortmund have stood firm in their £108m valuation of their star man so far.