Creative Soccer Culture

In Conversation | Harry Kane At The Nike Hypervenom 3 Launch Event

Unsurprisingly, Nike have installed the Spurs striker as a leading figure for their Hypervenom 3, and it's at the launch of the boot in Munich where we sit down for a chat with Tottenham & England man.

Last season Harry Kane became the first Englishman to top the Premier League goalscoring charts since the turn of the millennium. The season before that he came runner up. Stop the car, roll down the window and ask Harry Kane for directions to the back of the net, the boy knows.

Harry, you've played over 100 games for Spurs already. Scored a lot of goals. It's easy for people to forget that you're still only 23. Do you feel like one of the senior players?

"Yeah definitely. I feel like I've matured very quickly. I was always an older head when I was growing up and I've been at Spurs and part of this group of players for a long time now, so I feel like I am one of the senior players. I think experience is far more valuable than age, so you can definitely be senior player at a young age."

"If you've played more games and experienced lots of different situations then you're better equipped. You get that maturity from playing in high pressure games, to games you're fully expected to win. Then you've got that in your locker and you can pass it on to players who have yet to experience that."

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You were sent out on loan to a handful of Football League teams. How important was that in your development?

"It was massive. I can't speak enough about how important that was for me. To get that experience of playing men's football at 17-18 years of age was priceless. Playing in stadiums full of fans where the result matters was real, it wasn't as much about development as it was in the U23s. You begin to realise the importance of a Saturday afternoon and the knock on effects it has, not just to the team but to the fans, manager and club hierarchy. It's pressure football and you can't get that in youth set ups."

"The intensity of playing in relegation battles and play off games was the perfect learning curve for me. I think it ensures that when you get back to your parent club, you're calmer on the pitch, that initial shock of playing in front of a crowd or the pressure of getting a results subdued a little. You don't freeze in the headlights, or floodlights rather."

Do you think it helped you mature as a person too, moving away?

"Yeah definitely. Further into the Football League you see players playing for their lives, playing to stay up, playing for a contract to provide for their families. It helps you see the game in a different light, and one that makes you appreciate the need to work as hard as you can to ensure it's a career you can make a success of. It made me realise that if I wanted to provide for a family one day, like I'm doing now, then I had to really knuckle down. I wouldn't say I ever took football for granted but seeing players playing for different reasons, not just three points in ninety minutes made you think more about what you want to take out of the profession."

Lots of defenders players tried to wind you up in the Football League, does it say a lot about your mentality that you ignored that and got on with your job?

"Yeah I think I'm pretty cool and calm on the pitch. Being a young boy on loan from a Premier League club I was always subject to being roughed up by defenders but I tried to stay relaxed and focused on my job. I don't really get involved in any of that stuff, it doesn't matter what the opposition says to me."

"Players are different, some players play better when they are wound up but I think by staying calm benefits my chances of playing well and scoring, that's the only thing I focus on – keeping my composure. I'm not one to be drawn into a personal battle. You realise they don't mean anything they say, they're just trying to put you off your game. It's easy for me to see through that."

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How much do you think your game is based on instinct? Do you ever watch a game back and not remember having done something?

"Yeah all the time. Sometimes when you watch games back you think you should have made a different run but a lot of the time it's just a bout being reactive and anticipating where the ball will arrive. I seem to be pretty good at that, but as you say it's probably something I do instinctively rather than overthinking it. It's probably not something you can practice, it's more something your body learns through experience."

Best finisher you've played with?

"Jermaine Defoe or Gylfi Sigurdsson. Two unbelievable finishers. Obviously, I grew up watching Defoe for Tottenham and he was so reliable in front of goal, so precise when he got a half chance. I've played a lot with Gylfi too and he's another brilliant finisher, especially for a player that isn't a striker. He has consistently scored goals for whoever he has played for and that's no surprise to me after seeing him train every day."

The hardest shot?

"Jan Vertonghen. He doesn't get up there a lot to shoot but when he hits one in training you make sure you get out the way. He's a powerful man." 

Spurs' top scorer, new contract, all players singing new contracts, new stadium on the way. There must be a real buzz at the club right now?

"Yeah 100%. We feel like we're in a good place ready to push on. We're heading in the right direction, we're still a young team so it's just a bout maintaining that, keep working hard, think about the experiences we've picked up, especially from last season. We're flying at the minute and feeling good, Spurs is an exciting place to be right now."

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View the full recap from the Nike Hypervenom 3 Munich launch event here.


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