This article is a part of The Athletic’s sequence celebrating UK Black History Month sequence. To view the entire assortment, click here.

Before each recreation, Julian Joachim used to have anxious sleepless nights nevertheless it wasn’t the worry of failure or jitters over performing in entrance of hundreds of followers that saved him awake.

For Joachim, it was what may come after a recreation, notably if he performed nicely or scored a purpose, that stuffed him with dread.

“It was tough thinking ahead, thinking if you play well and get man of the match or score a goal, then you will be asked to do live interviews,” Joachim tells The Athletic. “The thought of that was terrifying. I used to get cold sweats thinking about them; even now!

“I found it easier to deal with as I got older. You get a little more used to it but I still didn’t like doing them. I realised that if you are doing well, you will be in the spotlight and people will want to interview you.

“I had to get on with it but I would always be thinking about it. If I knew I had an interview to do in front of the cameras, I would have sleepless nights.”

Joachim was a contradiction as a participant. Off the sphere, he was quiet, reserved and low-key. He shunned the limelight. But on the pitch, when he ran at frightened defences, he shone.

“It didn’t bother me going out and playing in front of 100,000 people,” he provides. “That wouldn’t hassle me one bit. It was the interviews afterwards that received to me.

“The pitch was my protected haven. When I stepped over the white line, nothing bothered me. I went out and did what I do finest.



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