In tomorrow’s edition of ‘Up The Pool’, we exclusively catch up with The Seasiders’ returning winger, a wrestling legend and a former Blackpool loan star battling to kick-start his career.
In our cover feature, Matt Phillips discusses his recent battle with a toe injury which saw him side-lined for eleven games. After making his first start against Wolves last weekend, and appearing in a behind closed doors game during the week, the highly rated attacker is determined to make up for lost time.
“The quicker the games come, the better for me,” Phillips said. “Tommo phoned me on Sunday and told me that there had been a game organised for the Development Squad. The match against Wolves on Saturday was my first start back so I need that sharpness and I probably got more out of another game than I would have done out of training.
“I feel that I’ve looked after myself during my time off and I can’t be taking two months to get back into things when there’s only four or five months left of the season.”
Elsewhere, we speak to WWE Superstar William Regal, about his long and storied career between the ropes. The grappler made his professional debut in Blackpool thirty years ago at the age of just 15, and nine years later he moved to the USA, where he became one of wrestling’s most despised villains.
“They just hated me with a passion, which was good for my career but it wasn’t good for me!” said Regal. “I used to get a lot of outside the ring trouble. I had people slashing my tires, kicking my car in and I even had a gun stuck in the top of my head at one point in Florida.
“It was pretty serious stuff for a while and that was the way it was back then. They thought I was insulting their country.”
Back in 2005, highly-rated England U20 international striker Tommy Wright arrived at Pool on loan from Leicester City. He hit an impressive six goals in 15 appearances for The Seasiders, before his career entered a decline as he drifted down the leagues. Now back in the midlands with non-league Tamworth, the forward is hoping he can score the goals to get his once-promising career back on track.
“Getting the move back home has been really important for me,” said Wright. “I’m back living in Leicester and Tamworth is only around 40 minutes from here. It’s not been easy moving about a lot and it’s not been easy on my missus either. Hopefully this is me set now and I can just kick on a little bit, score some goals and see where that takes me.”
There’s all that, plus interviews with Angel Martinez, Paul Simpson and Mike Flynn. You can also find out which current Pool player has recently been inspired by David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’, and who wins the battle of wits between Stephen Crainey and Kirk Broadfoot in our ‘Team-Mates’ quiz.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for ‘Up The Pool’, or pictures for our ‘Seaside Snaps’ page, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.