Ryan Ledson admits he is something of a ‘statto’.
“If you want to know anything about any player from the Championship to League Two, I know something about most of them. It’s a bit sad really!” He laughed.
The midfielder, unlike some footballers, loves watching the sport and will be glued to any game.
“I do like watching football, I am clued up and I am big into it,” said the 22-year-old. “I know something about almost every player in the EFL, the lads will tell you.
“I watch football all the time, every game which is on TV, even the EFL Trophy as there will be lads I have played against or played with and you want to know how they are getting on.
“I have an App on my phone to check the scores, the teams, how many games people have played – it’s quite sad really, but I am really into it.”
He admits he doesn’t quite rival manager Alex Neil and his coaching staff in his analysis of the opposition, but he can give him a run for his money.
“The gaffer is intense in the meetings we have before games and he is very good, he is top notch at the tactical side of the game.
“In those meetings he makes sure you know all about every player that could play for the opposition.
“If you know them personally or they are your mates you can have your say, but the gaffer and the staff are really good at that. I am not there yet!”
Ryan admits this has been one of the toughest seasons of his career as he hasn’t featured as much as he would have liked for PNE.
The Merseyside-born player came through the ranks with Everton, where he was from the age of five. He made two unused sub appearances for the first team and finally got his debut in the Europa League in 2014, but it was to prove his only appearance for the Toffees.
“I haven’t got a bad word to say about Everton, they made me who I am today. Obviously playing for them once, no one can take it away and it is a big achievement.”
During this time he started his England career, playing for his country from U16 to U20 level.
“I played with some great players for England, the likes of Dom Calvert-Lewin, Marcus Rashford, they are all down-to-earth lads, they are normal people and it’s nice to see them the odd times you play against them or see them out.
“Playing for England sets you up how to play at international level as it’s a lot different to club football.
“It was a great experience, I went all over the world and we won the European Championships with the U17s in 2014.
“I chipped a bone in my knee when the U20s won the World Cup in South Korea in 2017, I missed the whole thing and had played all the qualifying games up to it, so that was a bit of a sickener.
“But in the long run it was better for me as I needed to rest, I had played too many games at such a young age and my knee couldn’t handle it anymore. I needed the eight weeks off in the summer to let it heal.”
There’s loads more from Ryan, as he looks forward to the business end of the season in Saturday’s edition of The One And Only, which also includes interviews and features with Louis Moult, Alan Browne, Gareth Ainsworth, Clarke Carlisle and Ryan Kidd.
This is another packed full 84-pages of programme, on sale from Friday afternoon from the Sir Tom Finney Stand ticket office, or from inside and outside the stadium on matchday, still for just £3 per copy.