Defender Joe Worrall opens up on making the step into academy football with Nottingham Forest

Joe Worrall of Nottingham Forest. Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images.
Joe Worrall of Nottingham Forest. Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images.

Local lad Joe Worrall has opened up about making the step into academy football with his boyhood club Nottingham Forest.

Though on the Reds' radar, Worrall didn't join the Nigel Doughty Academy until his early teenage years under the advice of his father.

And, in an in depth interview with BBC Radio Nottingham, Worrall spoke about the reasons why he was happy to continue playing for Hucknall Sports.

The Forest defender said: "My dad was reluctant to send me to an academy.

"I played for my local team Hucknall Sports, who are a fantastic team, we went all over the country playing in national finals.

"There were scouts there from all the local teams like Derby, Leicester, Mansfield Town, Notts County, Forest and my dad said 'no - you're not going, you're staying and playing with your mates, if you're good enough then you'll be good enough when you're older' and I thank him for that.

"It's really paid dividends in my career.

"There were obviously a lot of lads who chose to go to the likes of Birmingham, West Brom or whoever came to watch the games but my dad was very much 'no - you stay, you wait, you play and if you're good enough then your time will come' and it has paid off for me."

Worrall made his Forest debut in October 2016 at Reading and went on to make 21 appearances that season and represent the club 35 times in the season which followed.

But despite Worrall seemingly establishing himself in the Reds squad then manager Aitor Karanka sent the young defender out on loan to Steven Gerrard's Glasgow Rangers.

The 22-year-old can now appreciate why that decision was made and said Karanka, Gary Brazil, Sabri Lamouchi and Worrall senior have all contributed in him becoming a professional footballer.

"I've had good people guide me," said a thankfull Worrall.

"It's not been one person, so I wouldn't put it down to my dad - he's rubbish at football - it's been a collection of people who have been in my life.

"They've all played different parts in the jigsaw that's made me a professional footballer."

Worrall has played in every Championship game this season under Lamouchi.