“I was simply young and made mistakes and recognised those mistakes to change and become the person I am today.”

Basingstoke defender Matt Partridge admits he has learnt from his mistakes in the early stages of his career to become the person that he is today.

Partridge was at the centre of an incident following an altercation with a motorcyclist 3 years ago near Newbury.

The former Reading academy defender felt that people should not always trust everything they read in the media as facts following the incident and the publicity from it.

“I don’t tend to speak of the situation involving myself back then, much as it’s something I’ve chosen to leave in the past. It firstly taught me not to always believe what you read as people wish to make a good story at the expense of others.”

Partridge has certainly left the incident in his past as he now runs a Personal Training business alongside playing for Basingstoke Town.

“Coming out of professional football and signing for Basingstoke I decided I needed to do something on the side of playing football and prepare for life outside of football. So I enrolled in an intensive personal training course which the PFA helped fund and I’ve recently set up a personal training business of which I work and train my clients in my own private gym. It’s started off well so far, so long may it continue!”

And the 23 year old has always been inspired by his family since a young age and was keen to make them proud in his footballing career.

“My inspirations growing up was always my family. Knowing they were proud of me for doing that I was doing was a major thing for me. Living in Thatcham, not many people made it in professional sport and representing myself, my family and where I was from was key for me.”

Partridge explained that his most recent move to Basingstoke was largely down to the reason of being closer to his family after the passing of his father who got him into football at an early age.

“My dad got me into football and had me kicking a ball around from early years. However my time at Newport came to an end and with the passing of my dad, I moved home and decided to join Basingstoke on a 2 year contract to be nearer my family and am enjoying my football here now.”

But it was earlier in his career where Partridge experienced one of his proudest moments when he captained the Reading academy team .

“I played for Reading academy from under 8’s until under 16’s and signed a 2 year scholarship there until I was 18. I captained the side which was a great personal thing for myself.”

It was at Reading where he first met the late Eamonn Dolan who he was extremely grateful to for bringing him to the club.

“Eamonn Dolan played a big role in my career obviously being the head of the academy at Reading throughout most of my time there and as I was doing my scholarship, he was a man who always wanted the best for all of the lads at the club, especially the academy lads.”

But Partridge did admit that himself and Dolan didn’t always get on but could see that the former academy manager wanted the best for him.

“He would always challenge me personally, and we didn’t actually always see eye to eye but I was always aware that he wanted the best for me. With regards to my off field troubles he stood by me, not only as a coach, but as someone who cared beyond football and I will be forever grateful for that.”

The youngster has had notable achievements in all of the clubs he has featured with some of his best moments coming at both Dagenham and Redbridge and Newport County.

“Probably my proudest moment of my career would’ve been making my league debut for Dagenham and Redbridge, finally being able to say I’ve played professional football in the Football League was big for me. Having not broken into Reading’s first team, this was a big moment for me. Closely followed by captaining Reading’s youth team and winning the award of young player of the year at Newport.”

Partridge is looking forward to the future of his Personal Training company and his time with Basingstoke Town.

“Although my footballing career hasn’t hit the heights I felt it could and should have and maybe one day still will, I’m enjoying life back home with the people I love and enjoying my football at a great club that I’ve grown a connection with in Basingstoke!”

You can follow Matt’s personal training company on Facebook here!

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