Nickname: "Oh, Tope"
Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger
Date of Birth: October 29th 1989
Birth Place: Birmingham, England
Previous Clubs: Coventry City Youth, Bolton Wanderers Youth, Bolton Wanderers, Swindon Town (loan), Rochdale (loan), Shrewsbury Town (loan), Chesterfield (loan), Rochdale (loan), Rio Ave, Bury, Plymouth Argyl (loan)
Killie Contract: July 16th 2014 (3 Year Deal)
Left Killie: May 23rd 2016
International: 4 Appearances for England U19's. 2 Appearances for England U20's.
May 23rd 2016:
October 2nd 2014: "It's a proper family club and it's a real home now, I'm showing that I'm enjoying my football now. I say to him [Pascali] that he's Scottish more than Italian now. I thought Scotland was supposed to be cold!? Not complaining though. He's a leader on the pitch, the way he plays and trains - he puts 110% into everything he does. I've come here and everyone's been great with me. Hopefully I can get some consistency and push on and get myself in double figures, you never know. We've got a great balance of experience and youth and it's shown with the results that we've picked up. Dundee United are doing well, but we're doing well ourselves. Top six is the aim. Everyone can see that Alexei's got ability, people say he's got eyes on the back of his head, with the way he finds people with passes. You're definitely going to get chances when he's playing. Every time he gets the ball, Josh and I know to run forward as he's going to put it on a plate for you."
January 19th 2015: "Hopefully I can get a few more goals and be top goalscorer from out wide. My previous best was about three, so I have beaten that already. The manager told me to get among the goals. He has played at a high level and he knows that goals can get you moves. Even if you are not playing too well, if you nick a goal, people are always going to be watching you. I want to add goals to my game as well as assists. I got off to a good start to the season like the team, but it's been a bit up and down recently with a couple of niggles here and there keeping me out of the team. Hopefully I can stay fit now and kick on for the second half of the season. The top six is a realistic aim."
January 21st 2015: “I played in the England Under-20 team with Kieran Gibbs, Ryan Bertrand, Jack Cork, Andy Carroll and Danny Rose. But Daniel Sturridge is the one I know best out of them all as we went to school together. Even back then he was playing ahead of us age because he was promoted to the Under-21 side. He’s from Birmingham and we both went to Four Dwellings and we started out at Coventry City together before he joined Manchester City. I’ve known him since we were eleven. He moved away from Birmingham when he joined Manchester City but were together in the first year of high school and we’ve always kept in touch. You could see he was ahead of the rest from a young age. His family made him stick in and that dedication has made him the player he is. He was always a goal scorer from a young age and we played in the same school team and again at Coventry City when we were 10 and eleven. He’s an inspiration to me. We’re the same age but I look up to him because I know where he has come from and the level he’s reached. It’s great to see someone you know doing so well for themselves. We had some time off at Kilmarnock in October last year and I went down to Liverpool to catch up with him. I’m not so sure he’ll be keeping as close an eye on me and Kilmarnock as I am with him at Liverpool and England. He’s one of the best strikers in the England set-up. He’s injured now but when he was fit last season he did the business with Luis Suarez and I just hope he can get back playing and kick on for the rest of the season. It’s great to see Ian [Cathro] at Valencia when you consider where he came from working with the Scottish schools. It was all new to him on Portugal as it was his first big job and we were in the same boat. But he picked up the language very quickly to get his point across on the training pitch. He was quality and you could tell he was forward-thinking. He was young but the manager really took on board what he said. This is a massive game for us. Dundee are below us and we’ve got a game in hand so if we can get the win then we can look up at St Johnstone rather than worrying about fighting down at the bottom. We’ve now got two important games coming up against teams round about us and if we win them then we can but a bit of distance between ourselves and the teams below us.”
March 9th 2015: “We are still pushing for the top six. Obviously it’s difficult and St Johnstone beating Celtic last week didn’t help us. But this was a good point and we have a chance. With 11 players we definitely had a chance of winning. We pressed them well in the first half and it was unlucky that Darryl got sent off. But the defenders did well after the break and we ground out a point. We don’t know when we’re beaten. We were still confident at half-time we could nick it. There was plenty of power behind my goal. I just thought I’d hit it as hard as I could and it was great to see it going in. Gary has got his point across well in training. He has the team in good shape and we work hard on and off the ball. We’re on a good unbeaten run and hopefully we can keep it going. I’m enjoying the freedom I’ve got on the pitch. The manager tells me to stay out wide and try to attack the full-back. It’s working – I’ve got a couple of goals in the last three games and hope I can get more.”
April 25th 2015: “Before I came to Killie I hadn’t scored too many goals but I’m settled here and I’m enjoying myself. There are two years left on my contract and I’m putting roots down. I live quite near the ground and it’s a nice town. More importantly, I’ve been given a run of games here for the first time in my career. I was at Bolton for six years but it was always a case of ‘go out on loan and get some games under your belt. So this is the first time I’ve had a long run and I like to think I’ve shown what I can do.”
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