‘Every single game’ – Jack Grealish reveals pre-match superstition that is boring his Villa teammates
Some professional footballers will always put their left boot on before their right.
Some always enter the field backwards, or touch the white line as they jog out on to the turf.
Some will even refuse to be spoken to in the final moments before kick-off
But for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish it all about the last song he listens to before making his way into the tunnel.
The 24-year-old made his Villa Park debut in 2014 and had his very first taste of a first-team dressing room that very season on loan with Notts County – and he quickly learnt that music was everything in getting himself focused and in the zone before a big game.
Fabian Delph, one of Villa’s senior players at the time, was no different and as the man tasked with controlling the pre-match music at Villa Park he unknowingly kick-started a ritual that his younger teammate has stuck to ever since… before every single game.
“Do you remember Ball Drop by French Montana?”, Grealish asked BBC Sport when picking his perfect pre-match playlist.
“Delph loved that song when I was first breaking through at Villa and he would always play it.
“So now, every single game, I listen to it. Before I go out, I put that song on. It is a little superstition I have and I think the lads are getting sick of it.”
While Grealish’s music taste has developed over the years, so has his father’s – who soon swapped the reggae sounds of UB40 for something a little more modern when his sporting son introduced him to Grime star Stormzy.
“Nowadays, I like a lot of London artists, like Stormzy,” said Grealish junior.
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“I used to listen to ‘Shut Up’ when I was young. Even my dad likes that one. I tweeted that to Stormzy one time and he followed me. I was gassed.”
He continued: “I listen to chilled out songs when I am at home, like Ed Sheeran. I actually love Justin Bieber and songs like ‘Love Yourself’.
“But I love all of Ed Sheeran’s songs, like ‘Photograph’ and ‘Supermarket Flowers’.”
No matter how bored his Villa team-mates may be getting of his ritual, it is certainly working with the Villans currently unbeaten in three and heading into the international break off the back of a stunning 5-1 win over fellow Premier League new-boys Norwich City.