Mert Apat: 'Get to Know'

access_time 3 weeks ago

An interview with our very own Mert Apat

Can you just tell us a little bit about your footballing background and when you joined Leyton Orient?

“I joined my first grassroots team aged 12. From there I had trials at lots of clubs all around the country, Brentford, West Ham, Barnet, lots of different clubs. Then I was at Norwich development for a year, ended up not getting anything there, went to Crystal Palace from there and from Crystal Palace, Leyton Orient scouts saw me train and I’ve been here since the start of the U16’s. This has been my third year at Leyton Orient.”

What position do you play, and what made you want to play there?

“I’m a centre back. When I was a kid, I used to play upfront or like midfield, but everyone used to tell me because of my height and my stature, I’ll be good at centre back. I gave it a go and I started getting more recognition and I enjoyed it so I just stuck with it.”

If you had to compare yourself to a player in your position that best resembles your playing style, who would it be and why?

“I’d say Harry Maguire, because I’m quite big like him as well so I win my aerial duels quite often. I’m good on the ball as well but I’m not the most mobile player because of my height. So there’s quite a lot of strikers quicker and more agile than me.”

What would you say is your best attribute?

“I’d say my physicality.”

Do you have any goals that you want to achieve with your time at Leyton Orient?

“Obviously the main goal that everyone has is getting into the first team and being a regular. So, I would say that’s my main goal.”

Can you remember what your first pair of football boots were?

“They were F50’s, blue F50’s. Did a player wear them for you to want them? Nah to be fair I didn’t want them *laughs* but my mum got them for me from Sports Direct, but then I just loved them.”

What football team do you support? And who’s your favourite player?

“Man U and my favourite player has to be Ronaldo.”

What is your favourite food?

“It’s quite plain and simple like pasta, chicken pasta… bit of veg on the side.”

What sort of music do you listen to?

“To be fair I listen to anything that’s pleasant to the ear, before a game its usually something upbeat and aggressive to get me pumped for the game.”

What is your favourite song to listen to before a game?

“I listen to quite a lot of Polo G”

Who inspires you as a young person?

“My older brother and my family around me playing football and I’d always try and keep up with them, but apart from them, football players like Ronaldo I used to watch clips to get me motivated, things like that I guess.”

What’s your all-time favourite TV show or film?

“Film…Shutter Island, it confused me a bit, so I had to watch it a couple of times to understand it. TV show I would say Game Of Thrones.”