Next in our series of interviews with former Swans, The Staines Town Media team caught up with Jacob Adams to chat about his career so far.
How did you get started in football?
My family are huge on football. My dad used to play semi-professional football for Braintree and other clubs in Essex when he was younger, and me and my brother have been playing since we could walk. Football is massive in my family – we used to go and watch Spurs for years as my family had season tickets for over 12 years.
Upon breaking into senior football with Springfield, you were picked to represent the Essex Olympian League. Tell us about that?
After playing well with Springfield I had a conversation with my manager at the time and was informed that I’d been asked to play for the representative side against a Kent league side – it was a privilege to be picked to play in this especially as it was my first few games of senior football and being very young. We lost the game unfortunately, but I played quite well in front of a small crowd in Kent, and at the time it was the highest level of football I had been involved in.
How did your move to Staines come about?
I had been playing for my team at university for a couple of weeks when our coach (who was director of football at Staines) Peter Stanford asked me to come to training with the first team. After my first session the goalkeeper at the time, Louis Dixon, got injured and I was called up after only one training session and played from there on.
Who did you make your debut against for Staines, and can you tell us your feelings about the day as a whole?
My debut was in a 5-1 home defeat to Bracknell Town. Before the game I didn’t feel too nervous as I saw it as an opportunity to play a game at a high level and to do my best. I got off to a shaky start when I came out and tackled the striker on the right-hand side and received a booking for the foul. I think at that point the manager Mahrez was probably regretting playing me in the game! But after that I made lots of saves in the game and really enjoyed it and felt I adapted quickly. Despite losing the game 5-1 I felt I played well and after the game I knew that I wanted to be playing for Staines week in, week out and to keep pushing myself with football to get as far as I could.
Mahrez Bettache – “A decision I made very quickly on the Thursday night before the game. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made in my short coaching career. A fantastic GK who consistently performed at the highest level week in, week out and it’s no surprise he has been spotted by a top Premier League Club. Jacob has a massive future in the game.”
You played 26 times for Staines, what were some highlights?
One of the highlights for me was when I captained the side in a 1-1 draw against high flying Tooting and Mitcham – it was my first game as captain and I also received man of the match for that game, it was probably one of my best performances for Staines. Another was our Middlesex Senior Cup win against Barnet on penalties – I made some good saves in the game and saved 2 of the Barnet penalties in the shootout.
You were a double winner of Player of the Year for the club – how did it feel to receive that recognition?
I really appreciated the support by both the fans and everyone involved in the club, they made me feel welcome and really want to play well and get results for the team. The awards were great for my first season at that level, and I know my family were really happy for me. A huge thanks to those that voted for me!
How did it feel to leave Staines?
At the end of last season (2019/20) I was sure I would be back at Staines for the next season as I’d had such a good time the year before, but I also wanted to try and push on up the levels of non-league and try and play as high as I could.
How did your move to Fulham come about?
I was asked in for a trial at the start of 2021 with the U23s after someone I know spoke to Vic Bettinelli (academy goalkeeping coach) and Geoff Warne (U23 goalkeeping coach) at the U23s. I felt the trial went well and they asked to sign me to the end of the year with the U23s.
What are your hopes for the future?
Fingers crossed I can continue to move in the right direction in football and secure a professional deal with Fulham, and make a career in the pro game.
If you had to pick a 5 a side team from everyone that you played with at the club, who would be in there and why?
Myself in goal (obviously!), Simeon Olarerin, Jonah Gregory, Harry Agombar and Dara Dada-Anite I think would be my five a side team.
Do you have any message for the Staines fans?
I hope that everyone who supports the club is well and a massive thank you for all the support given in what was a very tough season – it certainly meant a lot to me and the support and effort they put in is unbelievable. Through all the highs and lows of the 2019/20 season hopefully the club can get back to where the fans and everyone at the club deserve it to be.