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INTERVIEW: 100 up for Pritchard

Joe talks FA Cup, his love of Stanley and battling mental health issues

3 November 2022


INTERVIEW: 100 up for Pritchard

Joe talks FA Cup, his love of Stanley and battling mental health issues

3 November 2022

Joe Pritchard celebrated a landmark of 100 Accrington Stanley appearances on Tuesday and he hopes his 101st in the Emirates FA Cup at Crawley will be a special one.

Midfielder Pritchard is a vital player for the Reds, after overcoming a bad run of injuries over the last couple of seasons.

The 26-year-old admitted this affected his mental health but getting a block of games under his belt recently has been a huge boost.

And Pritchard says he loves the FA Cup.

“For me, when I was younger I always watched the FA Cup. There was the long TV programme where you get to watch the players in their hotels and stuff like that.

“I remember watching that, my dad talked about the FA Cup when I was younger.

“It’s strange as when you come into football, there is not as much importance set on the FA Cup, you don’t hear as much about the history anymore, which I think you should, but it’s a big competition for me.

“I have never had a run in the FA Cup which I would like to. I really want to kick on this weekend and get a win.”

After five League One defeats, the mood in the dressing room was low but the 1-1 draw at Lincoln on Tuesday has picked everyone up.

“It’s been tough,” said Pritchard. “We had a big meeting on Sunday to look at where we were making mistakes and we looked like we had more fight and character on Tuesday and if we take that into Saturday, it should be good.

“It’s important we build on it. Momentum and confidence play a big part in football and if we win in the FA Cup we can take it into league games.”

Former Tottenham Academy player Pritchard signed for the Reds in 2019 and admits he has struggled with his mental health largely brought about by injuries he has had to deal with.

But says he feels at home at the Wham Stadium and was delighted to chalk up 100 appearances.

“It’s crazy with my injury history, I have been in and out, I was coming off the bench when I first came here and now it’s built up to 100 appearances. It’s taken me by surprise.

“It does feel like I am part of the furniture. I have been here three and a bit seasons and I have loved every minute when I am here.

“It’s been tough on different parts of the road but this is where my football career has really started and I am proud to be here.

“I feel like I am an important member of the squad, whether it’s on or off the pitch. All the lads are class, I get on with everyone whether staff or players so I feel happy.

“Every setback you get, you build strength from. I look at where I am at now and every month I can see myself being a better person, whether it’s to do with football or off the pitch.

“If I didn’t have these steps in the road which have set me back I wouldn’t be who I am today.

“You have to take it on chin, move forward, be positive and each one will make you a better person.”

The full pre-match interview with Joe Pritchard is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!

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