A natter with Joey Beauchamp

From the Rage Online newsdesk

RAGE ON has a natter with JOEY BEAUCHAMP

Rage On met up with current Oxford star Joey Beauchamp in between bets (and just a week before the Fulham transfer almost materialised) and got the low-down on all sorts of stuff that no one else has bothered to ask.

RO: It’s well known that you like the dogs. Tell us about your greyhounds.
JB: I’ve got two – Nashua Dream and Dona Madina. Nashua Dream’s class – I bought her on spec on my trainer’s advice, never having seen her run before. I looked at her and thought she was rubbish but apparently there was something wrong with her. She was on tablets for some condition and they slowed her up so I changed her to injections and she started flying. I never had a winner before and she’s won two now.

RO: Is it true that Ladbrokes have put a ceiling on the amount you’re allowed to bet?
JB: Yeah, I’ve won a lot although not recently. I can put a couple of hundred quid on a dog, and it used to be a bit more. It’s probably a good thing because it stops me betting so much.

RO: So if your dog was in a race and there was another dog in the same race with better form and which had better odds would you bet against your dog?
JB: Yeah, I did last week. My dog was made favourite after one win and there was another dog which I thought would beat it so I bet on that one. I get the thrill out of seeing a dog win; I don’t really care about the money. I don’t bet on horses or football, unless there’s a game on in the pub or something when I might have a tenner or twenty quid on the result, but not very much.

RO: Right, footy questions. There’s been a lot of transfer speculation concerning you, were you approached by any clubs during the summer?
JB: Er, no. Like everyone else I just knew what I saw in the Oxford Mail.

RO: The last rumour we heard was that Fulham was interested in you. Is that true?
JB: Yeah I saw that in the papers. Keegan was at the Swindon game and in the players’ lounge afterwards apparently he was talking about me, so I heard. If ever I did leave it would be a big wrench, I love it here and now everyone knows it. I’m a local lad and I’m playing for the local team and that’s something that I wanted to do since I was young. The money doesn’t really interest me, although the older I get the more I worry about the future and how long I’m going to keep going for. I don’t really know what I’m going to do when I call it a day, but I don’t think I’ll get a job working in football.

RO: What really happened with the move to West Ham?
JB: I didn’t really want to move at the time, but I was buying a house and I needed the money that I’d make from a move. I didn’t know what to do when West Ham came in for me. I really didn’t know whether I wanted to move or not. There was no pressure on me from Denis Smith or anyone, it was my decision. I wanted really to stay, I didn’t want to leave. Unfortunately my agent at that time told me that I’d be able to live in Oxford so I went ahead and signed the contract with West Ham because he told me that I wouldn’t have to leave, so I went ahead and bought the house in Oxford. I thought ‘it’s going to be great now, I’m going to make a lot of money and carry on living in Oxford and play in the Premiership. I wanted to live in Oxford for a couple of years in my own house before moving on, get out from living with my Mum and Dad and do whatever I wanted to do. It came out that I was a Mummy’s boy but really at the end of the day I wanted to get out of my parent’s house and I thought that this was ideal, but after a couple of days training with West Ham I was told that I had to move up there and that was it really. Then Swindon came along and gave me the option to get out of it.

RO: It must have been a bit of a wrench for an Oxford boy to sign for Swindon.
JB: Exactly, but at the end of the day if I hadn’t gone there I wouldn’t have come back here. I don’t regret it, well I regret playing for them, but I was only there a year and it gave me the chance to come back to Oxford. Within a few weeks of McMahon coming in he made it clear that he didn’t like me, much as he didn’t like Andy Mutch or Adrian Viveash or Brian Kilcline. We were the four that he wanted out straight away and that was it.

RO: It was certainly good business for Oxford, selling you for a million and then buying you back for seventy five grand.
JB: That was me. I had my heart set on coming back here and I told McMahon that. I told him that I wanted to come back here and I didn’t want to go anywhere else, and that was why Oxford got me so cheap.

RO: Have things changed a lot since Shotton took over?
JB: Not really. The training’s a lot harder. We’re all a lot fitter than we were. We do a lot of running and train for longer.

RO: There have been stories in the paper about a rift between the players and the manager. Is there any truth in this?
JB: No, not at all. I don’t know where that came from. We did have a talk about that but there’s nothing in it. When I read it in the paper was the first I heard about that.

RO: So there’s a good spirit in the dressing room?
JB: Oh definitely, yeah. There always has been. I think that’s one of the things we’ve got going for us, a team like Oxford that’s struggling for money and always having to sell our best players, but there’s bigger teams than us that have gone down. I still think that if we could put our best team out, with no injuries, that we could challenge for the play-offs certainly.

RO: So why is it that we can’t seem to win away from home, even when we play well?
JB: We had a long talk about that after the Huddersfield game but I don’t know what it is. In the eight or nine years that I’ve been a player it’s always been like that at Oxford, except in the promotion season when we put a bit of a run together, but I don’t know why it’s like that. At home maybe we have more confidence because we know that we can win, but I don’t know.

RO: Does it worry you that when the new stadium gets built every game will be like an away game?
JB: It does worry me. I think that we might lose that part of other teams not liking to come down the Manor. We’ve got a big advantage with the Manor and we might lose that.

RO: Do you get to hear about what goes on behind the scenes?
JB: Nope, nothing at all. The only information I get is what I read in the Oxford Mail.

RO: Have you got any good goss from the dressing room?
JB: Not really. They’re all a good bunch of lads and everyone gets on well. We all go out together for drinks, including Malcolm and Mark, and we all pull together and get on together. All the new lads come in and they fit right in.

RO: Is it true that when Jemson left the atmosphere improved?
JB: No comment!

RO: On the playing side is everything going okay, from a personal point of view?
JB: Dunno, really. It started late last season – I really wanted twenty goals and it didn’t come. Last season I started off playing in the middle behind the front two, and I got a lot of goals from there. Les Robinson is a class player, if there’s one person I wouldn’t want to play against, even in training, it’s Les, but I was gutted that I didn’t win the Player of the Season award last year. You know, if you can score nineteen goals as a winger and still not win it then I’m never going to win it. I think some of the supporters still haven’t forgiven me for when I was at Swindon. Apparently I was ahead in the voting until the last week, and then when it was announced before the Birmingham game it was a real downer.

RO: Would you rather play on the left wing or do you prefer playing on the right and cutting inside?
JB: Don’t mind. I probably slightly prefer it on the right. There’s so many left-sided players at the Manor with Paul Powell, Jamie Cook?.

RO: We heard a rumour that Derby County are after Powell?
JB: Did you? I heard it was Cooky. We’re always the last to know these things. Actually it was my missus Chloe said it was Cooky.

And thus ended the interview. What a nice chap is our Joey!