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Career ladder: Jake Buxton

10 September 2012

Name: Jake Buxton
Position: Defender
Date of Birth: 04/03/1985
Club: Derby County
Previous Clubs: Mansfield Town, Alfreton Town (loan), Burton Albion.

What do you remember about your first ever match?
I think we played Crewe Alexandra when I was with Mansfield Town in what was the LDV Vans Trophy at the time. I think we lost 4-0 and Rob Hulse got all four. I later played with Rob at Derby County so there was a little bit of banter when I first signed for Derby.

Who was your childhood hero?
Paul Gascoigne. It was the era of Italia '90 and he was just an outstanding player.

When did you realise you had a chance to progress in the game? 
Probably when I was about 16. I was one of the first YTS in my year to get a pro contract.

Which coach has had the biggest influence on your career?
I'd have to say Stuart Watkiss, who was the youth team coach at Mansfield and went on to be the first team manager. He was probably the last coach I had who sat me down and did one-on-one defensive coaching with me.

What did you spend your first wage packet on?
Probably a pair of boots, to be honest - a pair of World Cups.

Does your squad number have a special meaning to you?
No, not at all. It doesn't matter what number is on the back of my shirt.

Who did you last swap shirts with?
It was a long time ago, but it was Robert Huth when he was at Middlesbrough. We played them in the FA Cup, live on BBC, when I was at Mansfield. I think it was about five years ago now.

How has the game changed for the better since you became a pro?
I'm not sure in general but whilst I've been at Derby the quality of players has increased, but that's probably down to our gaffer [Nigel Clough]. The lads we have at Derby are top lads and they are a different breed to any other players I have played alongside.

If you could have coached yourself when you were a teenager, what advice would you have passed on?
Be a coach yourself - coach the people around you whilst you're playing. If you help the people around you it can also get you out of trouble. It can also improve you as a player.

If you stay in the game at the end of your career, what will you do? a) Manager b) Coach c) Scout d) Physio e) Pundit?
I'd like to be a manager but I wouldn't like to manage at the level I play at now [npower Championship]. I wouldn't mind managing at a youth team level or lower league. The pressure of managing in the top two levels in England is big and you go throughout your whole career trying to deal with pressure.

I also like the idea of working with kids, where you could pass on the experiences you picked up as a player and I think you would get more of a buzz out of seeing one of your youth team players make it in a first-team. Managing at a youth team level would be a massive achievement for me and I would really enjoy it.

What do you want to be best remembered for at the end of your career?
An honest and down-to-earth lad. 

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