Sam Barker has made an instant impression with Pickering Town fans with his fearless displays since leaving Garforth Town last week. Now everyone can learn about the midfielder, including what his best goal and the time when he was caught “talking rubbish”.
Harrogate Railway, Garforth Town, Harrogate Town U23s).
Best mate in football
Sean Hunter at Knaresborough Town. We played together at Harrogate Railway when we were younger then again in the 1st team at Harrogate railway in my first season in the men’s game and went on to play together at Garforth as well
Team you support
Biggest influence on football career
My Dad for taking me everywhere from when I was younger to play football and to now supporting me week in week out and Rob Hunter for giving me the opportunity to join Garforth. It was a major part of my progression so far and he’s someone I always go too first when I need some advice on football.
My career highlight so far would be reaching the final for North Yorkshire in the inter counties nationwide competition with the final being played at the city ground Nottingham Forest FC. Unfortunately the downside was I broke my ankle prior to the final but getting the opportunity to travel round the country playing at some great grounds on the route to making the final was class.
Most Memorable Game
My most memorable game so far would definitely be a midweek game for Garforth away at Bridlington Town. One reason because on a personal note it was one of my best games so far with me getting 3 assists and a goal with the game finishing with us winning 4-3 and it was significant because it gave me the opportunity to do a pre season with Gainsbrough Trinity as someone from the club was watching and we had a threadbare squad against an in-form team so to get a result like that with the squad we had was class..
Lowest moment in football
Breaking my ankle when I was 16 was definitely a massive low in my career being out for a long period of time at an important time of the season was extremely frustrating .
Biggest regret in football
I have no regrets in football.
First semi-professional manager
My first semi professional manager was Brian Davey at Harrogate Railway he was only in charge for a brief spell before Craig Ogilvie took charge but I’d describe Brian as good guy who helped me in my early days as a young player coming into my first season in the men’s game.
Non League Debut
My non league debut was eventful and uneventful at the same time, it was away at maltby main for Harrogate Railway and I only lasted 15 minutes as I went up for a header with the left back I got wiped out and knocked out in mid air. That was the end of my first non league game as I was taken to hospital to come round and stop talking rubbish as I couldn’t remember where I was due to the blow to the head.
First Red Card in Non League
Never had one!
First and Best Non League Goal
My first goal was at Yorkshire Amateur for Railway and probably the simplest goal I’ll ever score it was a tap in right on the goal line. My best goal so far would be for Garforth against Silsden a couple of seasons back. I started the move by switching the play to Lee Turner who then set me back I took one touch about 25 yards out and bent it into the top left corner to open the scoring that was definitely my favourite goal so far.
What do you want to achieve in football in the future?
In the future I’d like to progress as far up the leagues as possible, right now I’m delighted to have joined Pickering Town. I’d like to help them move up the table as much as possible and further improve my reputation at this level and continue to learn and to improve my game.
Favourite Non League Ground
My favourite non league ground would be between Garforth Town and Bridlington Town both have great surfaces to play football on and both have great atmospheres when playing there and ive enjoyed playing at these two grounds.
Take a look at our previous Player Profiles HERE
If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.
NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams.
Our work is playing an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.
We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.
We have enjoyed great success over the past three years. Several of our players have represented Mencap GB in Geneva, including Billy Hobson from Selby and Greg Smith, whose story is quite inspiring.
Watch the video below to see highlights from our three years as an organisation. The video was produced for our players at the end of March to remind them of good memories from the last three years.