Street style sweeps through Swansea on Saturday as a showboating ball-balancer visits the city's museum
The debate around the most skilful of the World Cup’s stars could rage as intensely as the Brazilian sun but back in Swansea, on quarter-final Saturday, Ash Randall – an agile magician whose nimble feet have seen him break records during half-time of a game at Cardiff City and star alongside Wayne Rooney as part of the England enigma’s Street Soccer show – will be bringing some of the tricks closer to home.
Randall’s third appearance at the National Waterfront Museum follows tours across the globe and deals with Disney and Blackberry. He’s offering interactive sessions to visitors.
“To most people it’s just a football but to me it’s a way of life,” says the 25-year-old owner of 13 world records.
“Football’s brought me happiness, it’s brought me excitement and opportunities that I never thought existed.
“It all started when I saw Edgar Davids on an old TV commercial. He was juggling a football while on his mobile phone, and then he pulled off a trick called Around the World.
“Something happened in my head, my mind was racing and it just opened a whole new world for me. I was inspired. I used to train before school, after school, whenever I could find some time.
“I kinda found the best way to practice and train was on my own where I could concentrate with no distractions.
“I think I was addicted to the adrenaline rush from pulling off new tricks, just from nailing them. I was so excited, it was so fun.”
His acrobatic work paid off when he was signed by SBX.
“From then on we started travelling the world performing. It was unbelievable. We started performing with top footballers around the world.
“I'm really looking forward to being at the event on Saturday. It’s a great way for me to pass on some of my skills to those taking part.”
Perhaps Randall’s calling card is one in which he skips while keeping a ball in the air above his head.
“People seem to love it because they don’t expect it. I also like to do tricks with two footballs because nobody else really does it and it just seems to be my thing.
“It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight, but I found a passion and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
“We’re all really looking forward welcoming Ash back on the weekend,” says the museum’s Andrew Kuhne.
“With the hype surrounding this year’s tournament, it’s fantastic timing and a great chance for all budding players to discover just how to improve their keepy-uppys, flicks and tricks.”
A World Cup-themed bilingual club for under-5s will take place on Friday, with Cuppa Cymraeg – a Welsh language learning session based around 15 themed galleries – also scheduled for Saturday morning.
- Freestyle workshops take place at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 3pm and 3pm on July 5 2014. Booking required, telephone 029 2057 3600.
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