An interview with Hull City midfielder Greg Docherty, by Callum McFadden for Wireless.
You signed for Hull City in August 2020 and the club were promoted from League One as champions in your first season. How do you view your time at the club so far?
“Really positively. Coming here almost two years ago was a real challenge for me. I saw it as an opportunity to right some wrongs with the way my career had gone the year before. So to be part of a team that won a league title was great because that doesn’t come around often in a player’s career.
“It was just disappointing that the fans couldn’t be with us to celebrate the success due to Covid-19 restrictions on crowds, but we celebrated the success together as a group of players and staff.
“This season will live with me for a long time because no one can ever take that medal away from me. It gave me confidence and showed me that you can come out stronger and in a better place on the other side. from a previous disappointment.
This season was your first taste of the Championship with Hull. With games coming fast and well, I guess camaraderie is key to progression along with tactical awareness and practice. Who are the big characters in the club’s locker room?
“We have big characters in the dressing room which is very helpful, especially as games go by in quick succession in the EFL.
“Josh Magennis is probably the most interesting person I’ve ever met (laughs). He’s well known in Scotland for being a bit of a character and he’s always up for a laugh. He has two young children and I think they keep him young and add to his humor.
“His humor and personality does not take away from the fact that he is also very serious and also demands high standards from all of us on the training ground.
“Tom Huddlestone is another crucial player in the dressing room. He’s played at the highest level for many years and he’s a superb footballer. I actually remember watching him on Match of the Day when I was growing up when he was at Tottenham Hotspur alongside Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and co.
“He was also in the England squads alongside Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard which again highlights the quality he has. He is a humble player and he supported himself to come back after a year without football, which is admirable, I learned a lot from him and from Steven Davis at Rangers.
“This club is huge and we were in the Premier League not too long ago. Our FA Cup draw against Everton earlier this season showed how passionate our fans are and how much it means for the town.
“I love representing this club and our supporters because they follow us everywhere. It’s great to have them back with us now that we are in the league.
You started your career at Hamilton Academical at the age of nine, progressing from the academy to the first team. What are your memories of your time at Accies?
“The club has always invested in young people and still does today. Georges Cairns [Head of Youth Development] would continually refer to James McCarthy, James McCarthur and Brian Easton as examples of players who had made the move to the Premier League from the club’s academy.
“The manager when I joined the club was Billy Reid and he attended youth games and spoke to the younger age groups to encourage us to see the path that was there for us at the club.
“It helped us when we got to the first team because we were used to it the first time around and we knew the path to progression was there. Hamilton is the perfect club for a young Scottish player to progress in many ways as they invest time in you and also protect you when you get to the first team.
“I always wanted to play for the badge and I gave it my all every time I put on the Accies shirt. I will never forget what the club did for me in my career.
You moved from Hamilton to Glasgow Rangers under manager Pedro Caixinha in 2018. You also worked with Steven Gerrard during your time at the club. How do you reflect on your experiences at Rangers?
“It never worked out the way I would have hoped, but every transfer in football has an element of risk. There is no guarantee of success, no matter how much a team pays for you or what your reputation is. with your old club.
“I come from Glasgow and grew up as a fan of the club, so maybe I put extra pressure on myself to succeed because I was so desperate to succeed.
“I know I trained every day and gave it my all and could walk away at the end of the day with my head held high. I was respected by my teammates and the technical staff.
“The only frustration was that I wasn’t involved as much as I would have liked and that makes you not feel as much a part of the club as you would like. That’s why I moved to England and I’m so happy to be in Hull now because I feel at home here and a big part of the club.
“Rangers was a great learning curve for me, especially after joining the club from Hamilton. I grew as a person through the experiences I had with the club.
You mentioned Steven Davis earlier. He played at the highest level in England and Scotland, winning trophies along the way. He has also won over 100 international caps. As a midfielder, what was it like training and playing alongside someone of his rank?
“Steven is such a great guy. He is everything you would expect from an experienced professional. He has an excellent track record at club and international level.
“He always had a great thirst and desire to learn even in his mid-thirties, which sums up his professionalism. He kept himself very well physically and was able to play almost every week, which is a testament to his desire and his physical form.
“What struck me the most about Steven was his humility. Despite all he achieved, he was humble and had time for young players. He was everything you wanted him to be. and more.
“Watching him grow while playing alongside him was a great feeling and he couldn’t have been more helpful to me and I learned so much from him.”
Finally, you represented Scotland at U21 level. Is representing Scotland an aspiration for you in the years to come?
“Absolutely. Scotland have made great progress under Steve Clarke in recent years in qualifying for Euro 2020.
“The midfield is very strong but the challenge for me is to play at the highest possible level and break into the team first and foremost.
“I know that if I continue to improve at Hull City and play consistently in the Championship, I can put myself in a good place. I have no illusions that it will be easy to break into the team, but I will do everything I can to impress the coach.
“Regardless of breaking into the team one day or not, I’m a Scotland fan and all I want to see is Scotland’s success and progress. It’s amazing how the current team has galvanized the nation to believe in our national team again.
“I was at Wembley this summer to cheer on the team and it was great to draw with England. My challenge for the future is to work as hard as possible to be able to play for Scotland rather than watch as a fan.
“I want to be there as a Scottish player and I’m looking at someone like John Souttar. He has a few injury issues but put his head down and worked hard at Hearts which helped him earn his chance in the teams recent.
“It’s great to see someone like John get an opportunity through hard work and determination because he’s shown on the pitch that he’s capable of making the most of that opportunity with a crucial goal as well. .”