U's new boy Garmston recalls his days as a sprinter
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 February 2013
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HIS mum may be a former Commonwealth Games champion, and an Olympic Games bronze medallist, but Bradley Garmston is not going to be tempted into the world of athletics.
Colchester United left-back Garmston, signed on loan from West Brom last week, made an impressive debut in last Saturday’s otherwise disappointing 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United.
He is hoping to retain his place against Tranmere Rovers this afternoon.
Five years ago, though, Garmston was excelling in a different sport, in front of another big crowd.
The son of Sonia Lannaman, who won gold over 100m at the 1978 Commonwealth Games, Garmston had a stab at athletics himself during the summer of 2008.
And he didn’t just have ‘a stab.’ Aged 14 at the time, he won a silver medal in the 200m at the English Schools National Championships, held in Gateshead.
He was No. 2 in the UK over 100m and 200m that season.
Garmston recalled: “It was funny, because I didn’t have much experience of sprinting, or the athletics world.
“I had a few pointers, and had a few training sessions with my mum actually, in a field with my dad.
“I then went down to Birchfield Harriers in Birmingham, and went to the Birmingham Trials, which I won.
“I then went on to finish second in the National Schools.
“It was just a fantastic experience, running in front of a massive crowd, a bit like making my debut at Sheffield United.
“It’s just something you take on board, really.
“I had a go at it, I was happy with that, but for me it’s always been football, from a very young age.
“Athletics was just something that I wanted to try out and then go straight back into football.
“My mum didn’t push me towards athletics at all. My mum and dad are always backing me, in whatever I do.
“But it was always going to be difficult to combine the two sports, and I am 100% focused on the football.”
Having progressed through the youth teams and the academy at his beloved West Brom over the last six years, Garmston relished the chance to make his League debut for the U’s at Bramall Lane.
And he certainly didn’t look out of place. “Belief in your ability is key, especially when it’s your debut, in front of such a big crowd,” explained Garmston.
“And I definitely believed in myself, and had the confidence to do a job for the team.
“The gaffer had told me to just play my normal game, be relaxed, be calm and listen to Josh Thompson in defence.
“I’m very competitive, I’m a winner, and I hate losing, in whatever game.
“So although it was a fantastic experience, the defeat is always going to dampen my experience a bit.
“If the gaffer (Joe Dunne) picks me for the Tranmere game, then great.
“But if I’m not picked, I’ll keep up head and sit on the bench, if that’s what happens, and focus on how to get back into the team.
“I’ve got a taste of it, and I’m hungry for more,” added Garmston.