Football Rebooted - Oliver LLoyd Smith

What has your football journey been like up until now?

My name is Oliver Lloyd-Smith. I am a secondary school student who is very passionate about sport and in particular football. I play for a local club near where I live and a club in London.

 

My football journey started when I was 6 years old and over the years I have progressed into a better player. I have played for various teams, including teams in the Junior Premier League. It is the league where all the best teams across England can compete.

 

I have even travelled to countries like Portugal just to play football. My best moments with football were touring the Santiago Bernebeu in Spain for my 9th birthday and playing in the Estadio da Luz (Benfica’s stadium) in Lisbon. It was an amazing experience to play on a proper professional football pitch.

 

There have been some setbacks along the way, but I am not the sort of person to give up and I have always kept trying to improve my footballing ability. Last year I found out I was short sighted and needed to wear glasses, but I did not want it to affect my football, so I started wearing a contact lens in my right eye.

What did you try to capture with your photos? Was there a wider meaning with the photos?

The photos were taken at my home, locations where I train and play my football matches and at St Mary's, when I went to watch Southampton play Everton. I showed photos of myself and my teammates who I enjoy playing football with each week - and wanted to show what my football life is all about.


I set my alarm for 5.30 every morning before school to do a home gym session, which consists of dumbbells, resistance bands, press up bars and other equipment. I also try and play as much football as I can after school. My favourite photos are of my training equipment and footballs since it shows my commitment.

What does football mean to you and your community? What ambitions do you have for the future?

I started my own YouTube channel, GOATballer, because my friend had one and I was interested in doing the same. I thought of the talent I had which was football freestyle! I make videos on YouTube because I want to entertain people and bring a smile to their faces.

 

One of my freestyle videos got 42k views and I know that I have entertained lots of people.

 

Football means everything to me, because it is a way that I can have fun with my friends. It is something I thoroughly enjoy, and I am good at it!

 

In my community, the future for football looks good, but I feel that more people could give it a go, as anyone and everyone can play it.

 

In the future, my dream is to play football professionally and play at a high level and make a living out of the sport I love. My favourite Southampton player is James Ward-Prowse, because he plays in my position and his free kicks are incredible!

What impact has Football Rebooted had on you and your community?

Football Rebooted has been a great help to me since football boots are really expensive. Thanks to Football Rebooted I got a pair of boots with lots of life left in them with the extra benefit of helping to save the environment. When I got them, I was very excited to try them out and start playing in them.


Is there anything you think football players can do to be more environmentally sustainable?

I also think that at football matches, fans can get quite overwhelmed about the match and lots of litter gets left, which is not good for the environment. So fans should take more care and use litter bins more often to take care of the environment!