Joel Valentin – the Binfield youngster putting in the miles for the Moles

The midfielder has been combining his football career with his studies in Nottingham
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Binfield's Joel Valentin. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Binfield's Joel Valentin. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

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Back at the start of the 2020/21 season Football in Berkshire spoke to Binfield’s Josh Valentin after we’d learned he was continuing his Moles career while studying at University in Nottingham.

This struck us as a supreme commitment to a team, but then, somehow in the midst of a pandemic and second and third lockdown, it never saw the light of day.

However, with the 19-year-old central midfielders return to the Binfield starting line up for last Saturday’s 5-0 win at Long Eaton United in the FA Vase Quarter Finals, it seemed as good a time as any to push it out.

So, with the understanding that this was initially conducted back in the heady days of the 2020 summer, here it is!

Where is it you are studying?

University of Nottingham.

How long, and what are you studying there?

Just starting my second year, Business Management.

And how regularly are you coming back to play?

This year so far I’ve been home Thursday to Sunday. Thursday night to train and then play on Saturday and then back on Tuesday nights if we got a midweek game which we’ve had a lot of so far. Going to be easier this year as pretty much all of Uni is online so I’m staying home more often.

Ah okay that makes more sense, so what makes it worthwhile over say, joining a club in Nottingham for a bit?

I really enjoy playing in this Binfield team at the moment with the togetherness and spirit we’ve got at the moment. Learning a lot and playing with very good players with ability and experience. It also means I don’t have to stay in Nottingham over Christmas Easter and pre-season.

Joel Valentin. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Joel Valentin. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

So is it more that you aren’t keen on Nottingham?

Haha no as I’ve had some opportunities to play up there but think it’s best for me to play at Binfield regardless of staying in Nottingham. I started my football at Binfield at age 4/5 in the young ages groups before I went to Reading FC so adds to it that bit more as well.

Obviously travelling back is a big effort but does it cross your mind you might not play? That Binfield squad looks incredibly competitive.

Was the case last year as I struggled to make training but this year I’m training every week so giving myself every chance and opportunity. Yeah it’s a very strong squad with competition but I want to be a part of it and play as much as I can.

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