A new feature that we have brought to the BAJFC website is ‘An Interview With…’, a light hearted small insight to who the BAJFC players, management, and committee are. Our next interview is with Broughty Athletic defender Frankie Lannen. Read below what Frankie had to say when he sat down with our website admin team over a coffee…
Who was your first team you signed for and do you remember your first appearance?
I signed for Dundee FC when I was 12 and was just about to leave primary for secondary school. It was a team that had just recently been put together…I remember us only having a couple of friendlies against local Sunday league teams but our first proper game as a team together against another professional club was away in Glasgow to play Celtic…I think it was played at Glasgow university as Lennoxtown was being built at the time. Safe to say mine and the team’s first taste of development football didn’t go too well as we got hammered 12-0!!
Do you have any game day rituals or superstitions before a match?
Wouldn’t say I have any proper superstitions or rituals. I do always try and eat a proper ‘healthy’ meal the night before but that’s just about preparation. I’ve had numerous injuries to my right ankle previously and I usually strap it up before games as a precaution but apart from that nothing superstitious.
Who has been your toughest opponent in the game so far and why?
I’ve played against plenty of young players who are currently playing in the SPFL or even down south from my times at Dundee and Forfar. One player that has always stuck out is Cammy Smith who is at Aberdeen. I played against him numerous times when we were going through the age groups. His strength, pace and movement as we developed just got better and better and he gave me the run around quite a few times. Never looked forward to playing Aberdeen because of him.
Another player who I remember would have to be Gavin Swankie up at Forfar Athletic. I had just signed after being out injured for 6 months and some of the U/19s were brought into play a bounce game with and against the first team. I got played right back and Swanks was directly against me at left midfield. The first 20 mins I never got near him. It was definitely a learning experience. I ended up playing well for the rest of the game but the staff at the time must’ve been wondering why they’d signed me for the first 20 mins.
You’re still very young with plenty of years playing ahead of you but what are your plans after you finish playing football, as in would you take up coaching or management or leave football altogether?
I’m already involved in coaching with DFC in the community and it’s something I really enjoy and would like to go into more serious roles in the future. I’ve still got plenty of playing time left but I’ve already worked with some great coaches and players when I’ve been at Dundee and Forfar and I was always keen to listen and learn from them. It’s something I’d definitely like to take up as I get older whether that be coaching roles or even going into management.
What team do you support and any player that you idolized since you first knew about football?
I’ve always supported Celtic as have my whole family. My uncle and my brother were both season ticket holders and I used to go through with them when I was younger. Of course, Henrik Larsson was my idol. I remember watching my first old firm derby and it was the 6-2 game at Celtic Park. Larsson’s goal when he nutmegs Konterman and then chips it over the goalkeeper will always be my favourite goal.
However I was brought up playing centre-half when I was at Dundee but I was never the tallest similar to Fabio Cannavaro and Carles Puyol. They were both world class defenders who I loved watching and I would always try to emulate them when I was learning to play as a centre back.
Sorry about this one, but you always seem to be pictured with your tongue out, is this just a football thing or being pictured in general?
Hahaha…It’s probably not just a football thing but it must be my concentration face. I have always pulled some horrible facials when playing football but now you’re here to capture them so thanks for that. Hahaha!
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned on your footballing journey so far?
It’s not been as long as some of the other boys in the team but I’ve always worked hard and put 110% into training and games. I was never the best technical player but found putting the practice, commitment and dedication into football really helped my case.
I have also missed out on months and months of football with some serious injuries previously and although I was young at the time and still am it was demoralising missing out on so much. It definitely made me realise how much I miss it when I’m not playing. So I’ve learned to never take being able to play football at any level for granted whether it was a kickabout with my mates or training with a team.
What would you have done if you never played football?
That’s a hard one, I’m not sure what I would’ve done. I have always been sporty. I play golf and I was good at badminton at school so I think I would’ve been involved in some sort of sport no matter what.
Broughty Athletic are you first Junior Football team, how has it been since you signed?
It’s been different to what I was used to and it’s been a learning experience for me getting used to playing junior football but I’ve really enjoyed my first season so far! There’s a lot of experience in the dressing room which has helped me and all of the boys and the whole club have made me feel welcome since I came up in pre-season.
Broughty training sessions or Broughty losing a game, what is the worst?
100% Broughty losing a game is the worst! I’ve always hated losing at anything and reckon I’m a pretty bad loser. I’ve got two older brothers so I’ve always had to have a competitive streak in me. Losing was never an option in a sibling rivalry it’s the same with football.
Finally, tell us a bit more about Frankie Lannen outside of football?
I’m in 3rd year at Abertay University studying Sport and Exercise Science and also play for the University football team where we currently sit top of BUCS 1A which is the top league in Scotland. In terms of working, as I mentioned earlier I work with DFC in the community doing after school coaching classes at various schools throughout Dundee. In the summer, I also have a summer job caddying through at St.Andrews Links to make extra money during my time off from University and have to balance a trek around the golf course and pre-season training.