AtTheMatch sit down with former Port Vale and Newport County midfielder Ryan Burge
Discussing unique of- the-field issues that have overshadowed football abilities. by AtTheMatch
The AtTheMatch team made the journey to Surrey at the Borough Sports Ground, home of National League South club Sutton United for an exclusive interview with former Port Vale midfielder Ryan Burge.
It’s been two years since Burge left Vale Park under controversial circumstances, but despite playing a key role in his former club’s promotion campaign, the 27-year-old has found himself with an unwarranted tag, that is stagnating his football career.
Before speaking about his infamous fallout with manager Micky Adams and the subsequent transfer troubles, we went back in time when Burge’s feelings of the football industry were simply a dream, as he scored 60 goals for Cheltenham YMCA.
A man now accustomed to trials, had his first at a young age which included Premier League and European giants Manchester United and Ajax.
A three year deal aged 17 soon came about for the versatile central midfielder, whose supportive father would’ve been proud no doubt having spent hours upon hours driving a young Burge to matches.
Even from a young age, Burge’s mentality - which is reinforced by his desire to succeed on the pitch and clear his reputation off it - was strong, hence why being released by Birmingham and a spell abroad in Japan didn’t faze him.
A return to England soon followed, linking up with the Glenn Hoddle Academy, where he admits he forged in important bond with the former England manager to improve his skillset and believe in his abilities.
A loan spell at Oxford United via Doncaster Rovers paved the way for a move to Port Vale in 2011. Having come through the mental test of being forced to wait a year for his debut due to injuries, Burge would go on to become a key figure in his side’s quest for promotion in the 2012/13 campaign.
But things soon went south. Burge's relationship with Adams off the pitch became difficult, to the point where the midfielder left before the season finished, despite being offered a new contract by the club.
Subsequent events have left Burge frustrated, but not surprised, with the football industry. Burge isn’t bitter, though, he just wants answers and pinpoints the help of the Professional Footballers Association as vital.
He insists he's a committed individual, a team player and ready to perform back in the Football League; with the right manager and a club going in the right direction.
Be sure to read this exclusive and eye-opening interview in our next edition of AtTheMatch Magazine, as well as on AtTheMatchTV.Click here to stay up to date with AtTheMatch