Verge meets Jermaine Jenas

Jermain Jenas is part of the new class of ex sportsman turned presenter- he’s still one of the largest names in English football as he formally played week in week out for Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle Utd to name a few teams. He has traded in his boots to be the man on the other side of the pitch, becoming one of the regular faces with the likes of Alan Shearer and Ian Wright as a pundit for some of the biggest matches on tv. Having made the successful transition from on pitch to off, we wanted to talk to him about how he achieved this and what advice he would offer our readers who want to get into sports broadcasting!

What team would you say now suits your style of play? 

That’s a difficult one. When I watch what Deli (Ali) does at Tottenham I would have loved to have the ability to have his role and have the freedom to play that way. He has the ability to decide how he uses his energy. When you play a 4/4/2 its a tough slog, its non stop, box to box every single game.  Then game is more advanced now and the way the formations are structured means individual players can expand less energy in different types of games. Players like Deli can work within certain parameters of the pitch. The box to box players are the fall backs who really cover the entire pitch and that huge amount os space. I would have loved to play anywhere in that Spurs team.

Is there a team you would have loved to play for?

I always dreamed of my boyhood team Forest making it to the premier league. Obviously I played for Forest but to get in the premier league would been the one! The holy grail of teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid I was fortunate enough to play against (actually I say fortunate but it was a nightmare, it wasn’t easy at all!) Watching players like Luca Modrić fills me with joy. I went through a process of Lucas’ career with him and enjoyed and watched him grow as a player and to see him especially last year as the best mid player it’s really nice to see how he did it and how he got there!

What would your advice or tips be for students wanting to get into sports broadcasting? 

I get asked this all the time and I feel like the best thing to tell you is, do everything you can possibly do. Do the blogs, write, be on both sides of the camera and make sure you get a real understanding for what journalism is. I am clearly not a journalist and I don’t pretend to be. I just try to tell people my story of my opinion of the game from my point of view. Everyone has their own style!

What has helped you with the job role now?

What has helped me the most is definitely is dong radio, co-commentary, punditry and presenting. Trying to do the whole lot has rounded me! For students I say do it all and you will find exactly what you want to do!

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