Name: Peter Lovenkrands
Date of Birth: 29/01/1980
Club: Birmingham City
Previous Clubs: Akademisk Boldklub Gladsaxe, Rangers, Schalke 04, Newcastle United.
What do you remember about your first ever match?
It was my debut for the Danish team [Akademisk Boldklub Gladsaxe] away in Aarhus and we won, I think, 4-1. I scored.
I was only 18 but I remember the goal and I remember I was taken out of the youth team and put into the first team for the game because I was the youth top goalscorer the year before, and they [the youth side] were playing in the Danish Championship for the best youth and they were there as well. They were off sitting on a hill watching the game and I remember when I scored they all went mental. It was a fantastic feeling and I remember it as clear as day.
Who was your childhood hero?
Diego Maradona and Michael Laudrup.
When did you realise you had a chance to progress in the game?
It was when I got my debut and scored, that was when I thought I've got a good chance if I can keep going. I was only 18 and was getting a run in the first team, and at the time I was on the youth national teams as well.
I've always had this thing from when I was small, my dad and I always said that I was going to play professional football.
Which coach has had the biggest influence on your career?
I don't know, I'd probably say my dad. He was my youth coach, if it wasn't for him and my brother I probably wouldn't be where I am now.
What did you spend your first wage packet on?
It was a car. When I signed my first professional contract I brought an Audi A3.
Does your squad number have a special meaning to you?
Yes, 11 has always been my favourite number since I was little, and I always played in number 11 from youth teams until I got into professional football. Then I started to get different numbers until I managed to establish myself and got to pick my own numbers.
Who did you last swap shirts with?
I gave my shirt but I never got his shirt back, it was at Crystal Palace. The last time I got a shirt back was probably when I was at Newcastle United, I can't remember who it was, though.
How has the game changed for the better since you became a pro?
The tempo of the game has changed quite a bit and physically people are getting quicker and stronger in general, there were always quick players but now they are quick and strong and technical.
More players are skilful. Back in the day, Maradona was one of them and that was it, but now quite a lot of players have that type of skill. I think the game has changed and I think it will keep changing, it will keep going in that direction. You have left-backs and right-backs now who are the most skilful players on the pitch sometimes, that never happened back in the day.
If you could have coached yourself when you were a teenager, what advice would you have passed on?
To keep my head down a little bit more. I was a big complainer when I was little, in games I kept getting red and yellow cards for complaining to the referee, so it would probably be about my temper when I was little.
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'm going to start my coaching badges as soon as I can. I was going to start this year but unfortunately they ran into a wedding so I have to wait until the next time. But I'm going to start as soon as I can, not because I want to be a coach but more because I want to have it if need be. Of course, you never know what opportunities open up. That is something I could see myself doing, maybe not as a first-team coach but around as a second coach or an assistant. Also, TV and things - I'll have to do that.
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