HIS skills and tricks with a football are up there with some of the country’s best players.
But the city’s most eyecatching ball juggler is never seen on the football pitch.
As 23-year-old Adam Skilling prepares to take part in the world football tricks championships in Nottingham today, he told the News he has never been less interested in playing the beautiful game.
The Cask and Barrel barman from Broughton said: “People see me practising and say I should be playing for Hibs, but it’s completely different to football.
“I see it as more of an art form, but you’d never have the time or space to do any of it during a game.
“This came from a love of football, but over time I’ve got more into this and, to be honest, I’ve not been involved in a game for more than a year.”
He was set to travel down by train at 5am this morning to take part in the event, which is part of the Football Freestyle Zone event that attracts thousands from across the country.
He will be up against some of the best tricksters on the planet, and has prepared several routines to impress the judges.
And he explained that the challenges that are facing those who are planning youth football development were also causing him training problems.
“I do this every day and it’s really hard work developing different moves. It’s particularly bad in winter because it’s so dark. You can hardly hire out a pitch for one person because it would cost a fortune, so you have to find areas that are lit up.
“I get moved on quite a lot, which is frustrating.”
He is still playing catch up with the competitors he will be up against today, but is hopeful of winning the £500 prize.
He was a late entrant to the scheme, but organisers have been sufficiently impressed by video footage of his tricks.
The set-up will see him go head-to-head in a skills “face off”, with three judges deciding whose 30-second routine is best.
He will have at least three opportunities to impress.
“I was inspired by those old Nike adverts, where all the players lined up against each other to see who could do the best tricks,” he said.
“I’m learning all the time. Sometimes, you even get a few new tricks just by accident.
“It’s a great thing to be able to do. Some guys wear the full kits, but I try and be a bit different. I sometimes even just do it in my jeans.
“I don’t think my tricks would last long in a real game, I don’t think the opposition would take too kindly to it.”
To see Adam in action visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddlJAhKThlE