By Russ Vernon
In my debut piece for Football Foyer, I went to speak with Lincoln City midfielder Lee Frecklington to discuss his career so far, and also answer some questions from fellow journalists and a few Rotherham United supporters.
Lee Frecklington started his career in the youth team of home-town club Lincoln City in 2002 and during the 2003-04 season he made his senior debut for Lincoln.
He joined Peterborough in 2009 and left three years later initially on loan before a permanent switch to Rotherham in 2013. There, he spent six years (including the loan spell) before returning to his home-town club in January 2018.
Speaking about who was his favourite footballer growing up as a youngster Frecklington revealed: “I was a big Leeds fan so it’s got to be a Leeds player.
“I think Harry Kewell was always the one that stood out for me, it was Harry Kewell or Alan Smith who I wanted on the back of my shirt.
“I’ve got to say one of them two, probably Kewell.”
Frecklington, 32, said the best footballer he’s played with was: “The one who’s gone on to have the best career is Gareth McAuley, he’s gone on to make the most Premier League appearances out of anyone I’ve played with so he’s got to be up there.
“I’d probably say George Boyd as well; he’s gone on to play Premier League games as well so it’s between those two.”
Frecklington, who revealed his nickname was just Frecks, revealed the best footballer he’s played against was Gareth Bale, saying: “We played Tottenham in the FA Cup one year for Peterborough and I remember thinking nobody can be that quick, that big, that strong all in one body, he was a machine.”
He revealed that Craig Mackail-Smith was the quickest footballer he’s played with saying: “I remember Craig Mackail-Smith being quick surely there’s got to be someone quicker than him, but we’ll say Mackail-Smith.”
Frecklington revealed what it was like to be going back to Wembley again but this time with his home-town club: “I think it’s going to be special, Wembley is always a special place anyway but to do it with my home-town club for the first ever time they’ve been there in their history adds an extra thing about it.
“It will be nice for all my family and friends from Lincoln all to be in the crowd that day so it will be very special indeed.”
Frecklington also spoke about what was going through his mind as he stepped up to send Lincoln to Wembley in a penalty shootout win over Chelsea U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy: “In my own mind I had to block out the importance of it because if you get carried away with the moment you put yourself under necessary pressure so I tried to put that to the back of my mind.
“All I was focusing on was my daughter because before I left she was saying she wanted to go to Wembley again as she was too young to really remember it last time. It was like I can’t go home and tell my daughter we aren’t going to Wembley so that was my main focus before taking the penalty.
“I think you need to take your mind away from the importance of it because you can get carried away and put more pressure onto yourself. So you’ve got to get yourself as relaxed as you can, so it was my daughter going through my mind more than the actual penalty itself.”
Frecks revealed what his best goal he scored for Rotherham United was saying: “I think the volley against Walsall was the best goal as a goal but the best feeling I had scoring a goal was probably the one that kept us up against Reading.
“I know it’s probably the easiest goal I’ve ever scored but the importance of it was huge for us all as it was to keep us in the Championship and it secured Championship football for Rotherham.”
He also revealed the best manager he played under at Rotherham: “For the feel good factor around the place and the results we had I’m going to say Neil Warnock for the 16 games he was in charge, it was probably the best 16 game period I had during my football for Rotherham.”
Speaking prior to the game against Shrewsbury Town, Frecklington told me his thoughts on the Millers form so far this season: “I think getting rid of me was probably the best thing they’ve ever done, I think they’ve won five games on the trot since they got rid of me.
“They are in great form, I always expected Rotherham to be at the top end of that table this year and I’m hopeful they can keep this run going and challenge for the play-offs come end of the season. It’s great, it’s a big club and they deserve to be back in the Championship.”
When asked what comparisons current Rotherham team have compared to the one promoted under Steve Evans, Frecks said: “They’ve got the team spirit, the closeness what comes with great things and probably the League One team from Wembley under Steve Evans is probably the closest team I’ve played in and the team Paul Warne’s got comes a close second to that.
“If they carry on this form until the end of the season then it will be up there with one of the best they’ve had in a long time.”
Speaking on whether he would consider coaching when he retires and if he’d do it at the AESSEAL New York Stadium Frecks said: “I’ve had that question asked a lot now, once you come towards the latter part of your career everyone asks are you going to be a coach? If you asked me two years ago I would have said no, but the older I get and the closer the end is coming I might be interested in doing (coaching)
“I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t go back to Rotherham, I was there for six years and it’s a long period of time at one club, I’d love to be involved with that club again in some capacity whether it’s a coach, manager whatever that maybe.”
I would like to thank Lee Freckloington for his time answering these questions and also Lincoln City media man Terry Hibberd for making this interview possible. I and Football Foyer would like to wish Frecks and the Imps all the best for the rest of the 2017-18 season in League Two.
Listen to the Interview below: