Sgorio reporter Nicky John has been getting to know some of the players and managers in the Welsh Premier League to get an insight into what makes them tick!
This week, Nicky chats to TNS number 9, Greg Draper.
What does Greg Draper do when he’s not on the football pitch? What are your hobbies?
When I’m not playing or training I like to play golf! I also spend a lot of time walking my dog Joey! He’s a labrador so impossible to wear out, but he’s great fun going on long walks with!
What are your favourite memories of playing and watching football as a child?
When I was a kid I’d go and watch Yeovil most weekends when they were in the conference! Also, watching my older brother play when I was younger got me into football.
Talk us through match day. How do you prepare, and do you have any pre-match rituals or superstitions?
On a match day I usually have a lie-in until about 10 o’clock, take the dog for a run round the field and come back and have some beans on toast at about midday!
I don’t have any superstitions really, apart from always sitting in same place in changing rooms for away games if I’d scored against that team last time.
Who is your football idol?
Ryan Giggs was my favourite player growing up as a kid! Now, Berbatov is probably the one I enjoy watching most.
What is your proudest moment on the pitch to date?
My proudest football moment is definitely playing for New Zealand at the 2008 Olympics in China! The crowds of 60000, the atmosphere and playing against Brazil is something I’ll never forget!
How does the Welsh Premier League compare to your experiences of playing in slightly more exotic locations?!
I’ve really enjoyed the few years I’ve been playing here in Wales. Although New Zealand is a fantastic place to live and playing out there was great fun, I’m really enjoying it here!
Playing in a team that is so successful makes things much more enjoyable! Could do with a bit more sunshine though!
What’s your favourite away trip in the Welsh Premier, and why?
My favourite away trip in the league would have to be Bangor! The pitch is always in great condition, and the facilities there are fantastic! It’s always a competitive match as well!
Who do you share a room with on away trips and what are they like for company?!
Matty Williams is my roomy when we stay away! He’s a great laugh but what with him being a few years older, he has me running round making tea, etc!!
He’s a bit of a clean freak too though, so the room is always nice and tidy!
Which opposition sides have impressed you so far, and will The New Saints retain their title this season?
Carmarthen and Newtown have both had a great start to the season and obviously Airbus UK are going to be pushing us all the way, but I think with the players we have we will retain the title for a third year!
If you could trade places with anyone else for a day – on or off the pitch – who would it be, and why?
If I could trade places with anyone for a day it would be with snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan! I would love to know what goes on in his head!
He’s great to watch, speaks his mind and is someone I’d love to meet!
Tell us a random Greg Draper fact.
I’m currently studying to become a nutritionist and dietician
On this day in 1911 the first ever game was played at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, home of Genoa and Sampdoria.