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Curtis digs out path to the top
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Spielmacher 10 Offline
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Curtis digs out path to the top
Nice feature on Curtis Tilt in today's Football League Paper:

"He used to drive JCB diggers for a living. Now, Curtis Tilt is determined to carve out a path to football's summit.

The 26-year-old Blackpool defender hasn't taken a traditional route into professional football. He was never in the academy system. Instead, he played Sunday League football as a teenager. then packed up playing for four years as work took priority.

At 20, he started to take his football more seriously and began a steady climb through the divisions. It started in the Midland Alliance with Gornal Athletic - the fifth tier of Non-League football - and has continued through Halesowen Town, Hednesford Town, AFC Telford United, Wrexham and Forest Green Rovers, the latter on loan in the closing stages of last season.

Before this term, he'd never played in the EFL, but he's a stand-out performer for Gary Bowyer's Blackpool on their return to League One.

And one thing's for sure: he relishes his life as a pro footballer now. The powerful centre-half said: "I worked at a quarry, driving JCB diggers and bulldozers. Sometimes, there was manual work as well. It was tough and it was physical. I would start early morning and finish at five. Then, I would go straight to football. I was dusty, so I would have a shower and then get straight into my kit. I joke with the lads at Blackpool at times. They moan it's been a long day if we finish at 2pm and I say 'you don't know what a long day is'. If I'm asked to do extra work or things in the community, I don't mind. I appreciate the life of a footballer. I don't have to do ten or eleven-hour shifts."

That down-to-earth attitude is combined with a determination to go as far as he can in the next few years. He knows he hasn't got time to waste. He hadn't missed a league game for Blackpool this season until a slight groin strain forced him out of Tuesday's 4-2 home defeat by Blackburn.

He has become a pillar of the defence for boss Bowyer, who has described his rise as phenomenal and says he can go as high as he wants. Indeed, it's easy to see why there is plenty of talk about Tilt. He's strong, pacy and can play out from the back. The fact he was a striker in his teens is probably one of the reasons why he's more comfortable on the ball than many a centre-half.

He is loving every minute with the Seasiders. "I had talked with them in January, but nothing happened," he said. "I knew they were still monitoring me, but when they won promotion to League One I thought my chance might have gone. When i got the phone call that they wanted to talk this summer, I was halfway up the motorway before I'd got off the phone! The manager and the staff have looked after me. I've come from the Conference and I was in the background at first. The manager said I needed to come out of my shell a bit and he's given me confidence. And it's probably the best group of lads I've played with. They give you little pointers and, when the games came round, I surprised myself. I thought it would take time to adapt, but I hit the ground running."

Playing in front of 20,000 fans on his debut at Bradford was a highlight, despite a 2-1 defeat, and another was scoring his first, and so far only, goal against Bury in a 2-1 win. But it looks as though there could be more special occasions ahead.

"I'm definitely hungrier than ever to do well," he said. "I'm 26, I'm not young, but I know what I have to do to get there. I'm just focusing on looking after myself and getting more consistency in my game. Let's see where I end up - the top is where I'm aiming."
03-12-2017 12:57
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seasider Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
Post: #2
RE: Curtis digs out path to the top
Seems to be one of our better defenders. It's a shame we can't give a proper opinion and support these players. Hopefully soon.
03-12-2017 15:10
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Leesthedaddy Online
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Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #3
RE: Curtis digs out path to the top
Good read for a Sunday.
03-12-2017 16:16
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