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Students of Shrewsbury College paid a visit to Greenhous Meadow last week, as they got some Town stars on board to put their cooking skills to the test. Taking place at the stadium’s kitchen, a friendly competition took place between the students on the college’s catering course, organised by Shrewsbury Town in the Community. Jayson Leutwiler, Callum Burton and Stephen Humphrys all paired up with Jack, Frazer and Georgina, and produced some tasty dishes for the panel of judges. Town boss Paul Hurst, Head of Community Jamie Edwards and Jackie Swan were those tasked with rating the efforts of the first year catering students, and were impressed with what they saw. Frazer’s curried mussel broth with fishcakes and Georgina’s chicken pie fell just short to Jack’s cheese stuffed profiteroles, after much deliberation by the judges! Working with Jack was shot stopper Callum, who admitted he’d learnt a lot from working with him. Jack’s showed me a lot of things, I mean I’ve never made profiteroles before!” he said. “He’s shown me little things that I’ll definitely use again, and I think that’s what it’s all about.

“These guys are learning to become chefs so personally I’m trying to learn as much off them as I can. Ultimately I want to be a good cook as well. You’ve got to know what foods are good for you because it’s just about fuelling your body right. So I think the more knowledge you have and the more you understand about food the better.”

Currently on loan at Telford, Callum admits learning more about cooking couldn’t come at a better time, as things can be very different in spells away from the club.

“Being on loan you learn to sort your own pre match stuff out, you’re a lot more independent because when you’re here you’re lucky enough and privileged to have nearly everything done for you. When you go out on loan its also a learning curve how you deal with stuff off the pitch with food. Your drink, diet, the balance, it’s massively important to understand what you’re eating and putting in your body.”

Fulham’s on loan front man Stephen moved to London when he was 15 and admits to not having cooked all that much, but it is something he has improved with age and has been working on since joining Town.

“When you’re younger, I’m only 19 still, but you have a faster metabolism,” he said. “If you don’t eat healthy, the older you get, it catches up with you and you feel sluggish in training. Our fitness coach is really keen on advising us and making sure we eat the right foods.”

Some things that he and his teammates have been told to avoid has come as a bit of a shock to Stephen, and the striker insists you have to be strong minded to stay on track.

“When I was growing up I was always told, Lucozade is good for you, it’s a sports drink! In actual fact you’re told if you are going to drink it, it’s the non fizzy one. But even then the best one you can drink is water, 100%. There’s nothing bad in it all, fizzy drinks you want to avoid as much as possible. I’ve noticed a difference, because I used to have far too many. Now I feel much more alert and ready to go in the morning from not having them. Carbs are the main thing. Instead of chips, try and have potatoes, don’t have white bread choose brown instead, and brown rice if you can. Basically anything that tastes nice you can’t have! I think you’ve got to manage it yourself. People can tell you what they want but if you’re not going to do it there there’s not much point. It’s about mind over matter.”

Stephen was paired up with Frazer for the cook off, and was impressed by what he saw from the chef in the making, and is encouraged to improve on his cooking further.

“I’ve been really impressed, I didn’t know there was so much preparation and work that goes into one meal! I’m a beginner at cooking, and Frazer who I’m working with, he’s teaching me and I’ve picked it up just from the way he’s teaching me and watching him. He looks like a professional already, so fair play to him. It’s definitely encouraged me, I thought cooking was such a hard thing to do. It is, but as long as you put the time and effort in it’s definitely worth it. Just today I’ve done a few things and seeing the final product it’s quite pleasing and you can be proud of what you’ve made so you probably enjoy eating it more as well.”

Town boss turned judge Paul Hurst had also been impressed with what he saw, and was pleased to involve his players in the running of the contest.

“It was really good, I certainly think if you went out for a meal and were served that food, you’d be more than happy with that,” he said. “I think they were only first years so I’m sure there was an element of nerves there, but it looked really good and the players joined in well. I’m not sure how much they will have helped! I’m sure they will go and do well on the course. The presentation I thought was excellent for everyone, the food I had was nice and it was hard to judge. The club want to be seen as doing their part in the community and want to be part of that, from my point of view I’ll always make the players accessible to take part in events or prize givings, and this is an example of that.”


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