Interview - Ian Sharps
Sharps began life at Tranmere Rovers as a youth player he then broke into the first team and went on to play close to 200 games for the Merseyside club. 2006 saw Sharps move to Rotherham United, where he spent 3 years and nearly gained promotion in the 09/10 season with the Millers. In summer of 2010 he was Graham Turner's first signing as Shrewsbury manager, and was made captain on arrival and was named in the PFA League Two Team of the year.
First up for the experienced defender was all things Shrewsbury.
How do you think the Shrew's are getting on this season, and what games do you think will be key for promotion?
We are progressing nicely, We have slipped up a little away from home and let ourselves down a few times but at home we are unbeaten and have been impressive. We have most of the top teams in the league to come to our place (Greenhous Meadow) over the next month or so and if we come out of these fixtures om a healthy position i would fancy us to strongly achieve promotion
You've already had two big games this season in Arsenal away and Middlesbrough, How was it to play against higher league players (E.g Frimpong, Chamakh, Emnes and Hoyte) and at bigger stadiums?
It's always nice to play against higher division teams and I think it suits out style to play these type of teams. To play at larger stadiums not only inspires you to play well on that day, but also to try to play in those type of facilities every week.
You were a big fan's favourite at Rotherham, how does it feel to have moved on and become a fan's favourite at Shrewsbury?
I think because I give my all every game the fan's can see this and can connect with me. I have always moved to the town where I play my football, and I think this helps to get to know the people and also understand your environment that you play in.
You have formed a great partnership with Shane Cansdell-Sherriff this season, how has your time at Shrewsbury changed from when you arrived?
There has been a high turnover of player's since I arrived, which is the norm now in lower division football. Our style of play hasn't changed from this, and that's to get it down and play. Most of my games I have played in partnership with Shane, and we have a good understanding of each other.
Graham Turner is a well known manager in League Two; what's it like to play under him?
The "Gaffer" is good to work under. During the week he tends to watch training, but come the weekend he is the main man and tells you exactly what he wants from everyone.
How do the people of Shrewsbury react when they see you about?
Shrewsbury is a really nice place to live and I have found the people very nice and pleasant. My children go to school in Shrewsbury and have found many friends, so we are all settled down.
Next up for Sharps was topics in and out off football.
Twitter has had it's far share of negativity this season from managers and the F.A. How do you feel about the impact Twitter has had on footballers and their communication with fans?
It has brought fans and players a little closer. Players can give a lot more feedback to fans, which can be a good thing. There are negatives, when the players can receive abuse from the fans, and if they retaliate it can get in the press. But on the whole I think Twitter has had a positive impact.
Which players do you think will have a bright future in the game?
We have a good group of youngsters who have played first team football already in Jon Taylor, Tom Bradshaw and Conner Goldson, who if they keep their heads down, work hard and listen to advice being given, they will have big careers for themselves.
Any plans for the summer?
My aim is to get promotion and then take the family on holiday. We also have a few weddings to go to and I will also have to sort out a new contract (I'm out of contract in the summer) I would love to stay at Shrewsbury, but it's early days yet so will have to see what happens.
I would like to thank Ian for his time and he has agreed to a interview at the end of the season, So we will find out if he captained the Shrew's to promotion, his contract deal (hopefully) and most importantly how the wedding's were.
I hope you've enjoyed the column, and I hope the weekend brings you the results you want.