Coach, Sayce Holmes-Lewis, has been speaking to France Football about Jadon Sancho and the topic of his best friend, Reiss Nelson, both of whom Holmes-Lewis coached, came up.
First up, Holmes-Lewis was asked on his first impressions of Sancho. “I saw him for the first time when he was in Watford (his first club), when he was 6 years old and when he was in the development center.” Holmes-Lewis said.
“He was already an excellent player, I liked him very much. But there, I saw him only once and we met again two or three times after, when he was recruited into our academy. I was dazzled by his technique and his skills.”
Asked then if he could see that Sancho was already special at such a young age, he replied, “Totally. Very expressive, extremely technical, he handled the ball very well and, above all, he played with a smile on his face. He always played a lot of football, with the game in his life, like Reiss Nelson, his best friend.
“They are not just friends, they are like brothers. Young, the two were inseparable. They spent their time together and, better, always pushed themselves to do better. They have had this friendship since they were children, and it’s a real bromance. And on the ground too. Reiss always pushed Jadon and vice versa, on all aspects: technical or competitive.
“There has always been this desire, in both, to want to win.”
The interviewer tried to keep talking about just Sancho, asking next who his heroes were, but Holmes-Lewis still couldn’t leave Reiss out of it.
“Game heroes, yes. And especially all the players who had a high technical level. And those of the past too. R9, Ronaldo, the Brazilian, but also Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldinho … All the great classics, and all those who inspired them, from the past or their period. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo…
“Everything was around football anyway, so Jadon, but also Reiss, were steeped in this culture and driven by the desire to become a professional footballer. They had no doubt about it. It was their goal.
“He [Sancho] was always very humble too. Reiss, for example, was more outgoing than he was. Jadon was more discreet, more shy, more calm. And he grows, with a different stature, but remains calm and humble. On the other hand, as soon as he sets foot on a piece of grass, that’s where we see all his greatness.”