David Beckham ‘always picked last’ in first football team

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Almost a decade after his retirement from professional football, David Beckham has returned to his roots to help a group of young players try to rise through their local league tables. His new Disney+ series, Save Our Squad, chronicles David’s journey as an under-14s coach, and the star player couldn’t help but reminisce about his own childhood as a rising football star in East London.

David admitted he didn’t always have the reputation as a star player when he first started out with Ridgeway Rovers.

At Save Our Squad’s premiere in London, he admitted he had even less confidence than the young boys representing the struggling team on which the show is based.

Host Alex Scott asked: “Did you see any similarities in yourself when you were younger with the boys?”

David replied: “I did. I don’t think I was as cheeky as most of them. I think I was more like Orlando.”

“I didn’t say a word. I was small, I was skinnier than all of these boys.”

In a heart-to-heart with Orlando in the series, David admitted he was always picked last when he started out with his first team.

Orlando had just been picked last by his fellow Westward Boys players and revealed he has found it hard to get involved as one of the squad’s more recent additions.

David encourages the young footballer to speak up and find his confidence, and viewers will be able to track his and the rest of the team’s progress over the coming weeks.

“But I was from East London, like them. And I loved the game,” he continued.

“The similarities came from that really. And when I got to know the boys, they were all incredible.”

David’s new Disney+ project has already been described as a heartwarming and inspiring journey for both the A-list player and his team of football hopefuls.

“I wanted to achieve, I think, what we all want to achieve with our children,” David said of his reasons for producing the series.

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“We want them to have confidence. We want them to believe in themselves.

“But, I think, I wanted people to really see how important grassroots football is, especially in this country.”

The series’ star went on to detail some of his own struggles with his youth team which mirrored those of Westward Boys throughout the series.

“I was lucky to grow up in a Sunday League team, in the Echo League, and I was involved in a very successful team,” he explained.

“But it took a lot of hard work. It’s all about community. It’s not just about East London, but it’s where I’m from and where I’m most passionate about.

“The community is a big part of this, so what I wanted to achieve with the boys is I wanted them to gain confidence, I wanted them to believe in themselves.”

“It’s not just about what you do on the pitch, it’s more important what you’re like off the pitch, as well.

“It’s what one of the coaches at Manchester United told me – yes, you can be successful on the pitch.

“But to be a good person off it is more important. And that’s what I wanted from the boys.”

David’s coaching efforts certainly proved successful within the first episode, but fans will have to keep watching to find out if Westward can pull it back from the bottom of the Echo League.

Save Our Squad with David Beckham airs Wednesdays on Disney+.

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