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Andrew Waterworth: 'I'm not a late night person, even on an evening out I will go home early'

Me and my health

By Helen Carson

The 29-year-old is the leading goalscorer for Linfield Football Club, and, if he is selected, will play his 100th game for the club tomorrow night. He is engaged to Lisa (26), and teaches Sports Studies at Edmund Rice College, Glengormley and runs a soccer school, Carvill Waterworth Academy, in his home town.

Q: Do you take regular exercise - and if so, what?

A: I train with Linfield Football Club three times a week, when we cover conditioning and sports specific exercises as well as a cardiovascular programme. I also go to the gym myself once a week between club training sessions, to help prevent injury. It can be hard to fit in that extra gym time while playing football part-time and my job teaching - it often depends on what I'm doing, or how I'm feeling. It takes me longer to recover from sport nowadays, as I am almost 30.

Q: What's the worst illness you have ever had?

A: I haven't ever been really ill, thank goodness - apart from the usual colds and flus. My worst injury was a broken leg, which happened when I played my first ever game for Linfield. I was unable to play for 10 weeks and it was hard going, but I did all the rehabilitation with the club experts, who were really good. I had to do a lot of upper body work to maintain my fitness levels and keep weight off.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: I used to be meticulous about my diet and I still try to eat well Monday to Friday - although I do enjoy a glass of red wine with my dinner on a Saturday night. I do my best to get my five fruit and veg in a day and plenty of carbs before a game and protein to help my muscles recover. But a little bit of what you fancy does no harm - I am strict, without being over the top. I do enjoy having a coffee and chocolate.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I never skip breakfast; in fact, I couldn't leave the house without having breakfast. I also love tea and toast. There is a sandwich bar in Crossgar and I would find it hard to go a day without going there and enjoying a sandwich and cup of tea there ... probably with a KitKat, too. I love bread and, for now, I am getting away with eating so many carbs, but I suppose in time it will catch up with me.

Q: Do you drink or smoke?

A: No, I have never smoked, but I will have a pint of Guinness on a Saturday night. I don't drink if I have a game during the week.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: Flaxseed - I add it to everything I eat, from porridge to yoghurt and fruit. It goes on everything. I will even add it to olive oil. When I'm playing, I will take protein drinks.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I enjoy socialising and going out for a coffee or a pint. When I'm not playing, teaching or coaching, I like to watch a match or go for a walk. You will find me in Newcastle or at my local, where I will have an Americano or a cappuccino.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: This is the worst thing for me - if I could change one thing about myself it would be to get more sleep. I have never slept during the day, ever, and get about seven hours of sleep a night. I go to bed early, about 10.30pm. There is no point going earlier than that, as I find myself just lying there staring at the ceiling for hours. My sleep could definitely be better - I find it hard to switch off after a late game. Despite this, I am not a late night person - even on an evening out I will go home early. I would love to get more sleep, as it is so important, especially when you are playing football.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Yes, I worry about it in terms of my playing career. I often think 'how many years have I got left?' As I have become older I have lost speed and it takes longer to recover after a game. I have started to get a few grey hairs and the lads at Linfield keep me going and ask when I'm going to get Just For Men. But I wouldn't dye my hair, I prefer to grow old gracefully. I don't mind the lifestyle associated with growing older - I was never one for clubs, but as a player it takes its toll. When I was 18 I could play three games a week; now I can feel it in my muscles.

Q: What is your go-to product/habit that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: Drinking water is key to good health. Even when I am coaching, I tell the children to only drink water rather than sports drinks. I buy a two litre bottle of Evian every day and try to drink it - I always have it in the car with me. Whether I am on the pitch or not I feel better after having drunk water. It can be hard to drink water all the time, especially in the winter, when I would much prefer a hot drink.

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