Jamie Bynoe-Gittens is a future Golden Boy candidate, according to 2023 winner Jude Bellingham. Find out what the Borussia Dortmund youngster makes of his former teammate's prediction, his take on life at BVB, English countryman Jadon Sancho and more in this bundesliga.com exclusive...
bundesliga.com: Did you watch the Golden Boy Awards?
Jamie Bynoe-Gittens: "I didn’t. I missed it but I saw that he [Bellingham] got the award so I was happy for him to get the award. He is really doing good."
bundesliga.com: Did you hear what Jude Bellingham said about you at the Golden Boy Awards?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, true, I forgot this. Nice words from him. He has faith in me and he believes in me to do better for myself. It is big words coming from him. Really big words."
bundesliga.com: You get on well, don't you?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, I was with him for one year, or two years, I think, in Dortmund. Really nice guy. Really hard work in training and off the pitch as well. Really nice guy."
bundesliga.com: Did you contact him after that?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, I told him, ‘thank you very much’, for his belief in me. I just have to keep working hard and hopefully, be like him and win it, hopefully."
bundesliga.com: Was your phone going off after that statement?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, just getting so many WhatsApps and DM’s from everyone saying, ‘Oh my god, Jude said this about you’, but he is my friend so I talk to him most of the time. Flattering words."
Watch: Jude Bellingham spent three formative years at Borussia Dortmund
bundesliga.com: Why is Dortmund such a special place for young talent?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Because I believe they have the setup around it. The playing – all the players around us, they help us improve every day in training – on the pitch and you play at a young age. They trust us to perform on the biggest stage. That is what I would say."
bundesliga.com: You've been in the starting line-up four times this season - are you happy?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes. It is starting to get good. Getting some momentum going. Trying to just stay positive and keep working towards my goals."
bundesliga.com: What are your goals this season?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Just trying to be a main part in the team, if that is scoring a goal or assisting or making an impact of some sort. That is my goal in the team."
Watch: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens - Dortmund's next English super talent
bundesliga.com: How did you deal with your shoulder injury?
Bynoe-Gittens: "It has been happening since I was 14-15, these shoulder injuries, but it is done now, touch wood. Just have to keep working hard on my shoulders and it should be all good."
bundesliga.com: Have you been struggling with shoulder injuries for a long time?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, I would say five years prior to this. I had both my shoulders operated on now so it should be the last of it."
bundesliga.com: What do you do preventively to avoid such injuries in the future?
Bynoe-Gittens: "More stability in the shoulder like doing some stabilisation work and strength work. It should be good."
bundesliga.com: A few years ago, it was not common for outstanding English talent to move to Germany. How did that come about?
Bynoe-Gittens: "In my head, clear right now, is Jadon [Sancho]. The first one that came to my head, really. Played at a young age, and had done really good. Big stats in the big leagues and big competitions, and Jude, obviously, now. I am trying to follow in their footsteps and do well."
bundesliga.com: Did you have much to do with Jadon Sancho?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, I met him my first year that I came. I used to go with him to get haircuts sometimes, at his house or something like this. Chill out, play FIFA a little bit. He is a really nice guy."
bundesliga.com: What was the best tip the two of them [Bellingham & Sancho] gave you?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Just, whatever happens, just stay working on trying to better yourself. Be the best version of yourself and put in the work, hard, every day to be better."
bundesliga.com: What were your beginnings like? How did you get into football?
Bynoe-Gittens: "I think it was when I was six or seven. In primary school I used to play with my friends in the playground, playing - we call it 'Wembley', this game where you just play... Like you shoot on goal. Just fun, I remember having fun these days."
bundesliga.com: We spoke to your old coach Martyn Beney. What memories do you have of that time?
Bynoe-Gittens: "That is my first coach when I was at Caversham Trents U6 or U7s. Wow, that is a throwback. As you said I used to just run around, have fun, kick a ball around, chase it and do it every single day. I really enjoyed these times – so fun."
bundesliga.com: What did he teach you?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Just to enjoy playing football. Win, lose, just try and score a goal or just run around, have energy. I don’t know, just... I can’t describe it but it was really fun."
bundesliga.com: How did your career then continue? What was your path?
Bynoe-Gittens: "From there, I went to trial at Chelsea and then Reading as well but I picked Reading because it is closer to my home. I was in Reading from U9s until U14s. From there, I went to Manchester City for two years. Then I came to Germany when I was 16. Now I'm here."
bundesliga.com: We also spoke to your former coach Rhys Denton, any fond memories?
Bynoe-Gittens: "That is Dents from Reading Academy. He was there for the year before I left. I used to see him around the place. Again, he is a really nice character – a really nice guy. I used to talk to him a lot. He trained me sometimes. Just really good people."
bundesliga.com: Even back then you could see the joy in your playing?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, I used to just dribble around. Not pass the ball, maybe but, still, have fun with the ball. Do some nutmegs or stepovers or whatever. It was just fun back then."
bundesliga.com: Did you develop your abilities/skills during this rather fun, carefree time?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, my skills, yes. I used to just – don’t think about steps or nothing – assists or goals. It is just, go out there and try to rip the person in front of me. Do a stepover, make him embarrass himself. That was my mindset back then. Just dribble around him and make him embarrassed."
bundesliga.com: How do you manage to balance between professionalism and still having fun on the pitch?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Coming to pro football, at first, it was hard for me to try and balance the fun side of it - the dribbling. Then I realised where to do it on the pitch. I have got to do it in the final third, not always in my own half and get tackled so that they can score, or just not get tackled in dumb places. I have got to try and be smart with it. Now I'm adapting to doing it in the right areas of the pitch. Trying to balance the passing side of it as well, to create goals."
bundesliga.com: Your move to Manchester City was a big step, wasn't it?
Bynoe-Gittens: "My train used to take three hours to get there. I would stay in digs. I would stay with a host family for the two years I was there. I went to a new school in Manchester, met some new people, new friends. Different accent as well. The manny [Mancunian] accent is different to the Reading accent and the London accent. It was adapting to new surroundings."
bundesliga.com: That's also part of the life of a footballer, which many people don't know, right?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, I had to leave my family in Reading. That was hard for me and for my parents as well. They would always call me every day and see how I was. Made sure I had my dinner, lunch or whatever. Just the small things. They would check up on me.”
bundesliga.com: What changed when you moved to Germany?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Of course, different country, different language, different culture. When I first came it was lockdown so I was really stuck in the youth house on academy campus."
bundesliga.com: Were there sometimes hard times?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, of course because we had no games. We just trained for the whole year, basically. By the end of the season, I got injured on my ankle so I had to sit out for two months and then come back. Then I did it again. I think the next season I started playing again because Covid was nearly finished around that time. Yes, quite hard. Quite hard."
Watch: The best of Bynoe-Gittens in the Bundesliga
bundesliga.com: How were your beginnings in the Bundesliga?
Bynoe-Gittens: "That was surreal, I would say, playing in the Signal Iduna Park is big for me because the stadium is so big, the fans are so loud. It has a lot of adrenaline in this game. I remember against Bochum my first start was. I was so excited to play in front of this crowd."
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, we lost 3-2 to Bochum, I think and then – I don’t know. After that I think it was... "
bundesliga.com: What are your memories of your first game in Munich?
Bynoe-Gittens: "It was Bayern Munich away and then Bochum at home. Obviously, for the team, it was hard to take a loss but from there we just had to learn. I learned a lot from these two games. Played in pro football. It was a lot faster – more physical."
bundesliga.com: What are the differences between youth and professional football?
Bynoe-Gittens: "It is more the fitness side of it. The fitness side is a big jump from the academy. In the academy you might run like, eight kilometers or seven kilometers, but pro football you have to run. You do more sprints – higher speed sprints. Defend as a team. You have to be in the right place at the right time. It is more complicated to explain. It is more physical on the body."
bundesliga.com: Did you also have to get used to the number of games?
Bynoe-Gittens: "More games now. We play twice a week. We have played three games in the past five days or six days. It is really hard to get used to it sometimes."
bundesliga.com: How do you cope with ups and downs?
Bynoe-Gittens: "I have tried to stay positive. I have tried to just... If I had a bad day or not done as well as I could have, I just try to be positive and think of the next games that are coming. You have to just keep on trying to just build some momentum and just think positive."
bundesliga.com: You played an outstanding game against AC Milan in the Champions League in particular, didn't you?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, Milan was a good game. My first Champions League goal that I was very happy about. We won the game as well. That is more important."
bundesliga.com: How do you plan to get back to your old strengths in the Bundesliga?
Bynoe-Gittens: "We just have to, again, just every day try and be better. Better ourselves. Try and be better. Be more focused in the game and stick to the gameplan sometimes. Just work as hard as you can to win the games."
bundesliga.com: Looking back, what would you like to say to your former England coaches?
Bynoe-Gittens: "I would just say, ‘thank you very much for your kind words and believing in my at a young age to go so far and just have fun. I really appreciate you guys, thank you.’"
bundesliga.com: Who gave you particular support on your way to becoming a professional?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Obviously, my parents. My agent as well. My close friends in Reading."
bundesliga.com: Are you still in contact with your old friends?
Bynoe-Gittens: "Yes, of course. I talk to them most days."
bundesliga.com: How important are old friendships?
Bynoe-Gittens: "I went to school with them, my friends in Reading. I have known them since the age of 12-13. We just kept that connection close since that day."
bundesliga.com: What did your old friends message you after Bellingham's statement?
Bynoe-Gittens: "They sent me the post of it on Fabrizio [Romano]. They just direct messaged me right away and said, ‘he said you are going to be a Ballon D’or’ – not Ballon D’or, Golden Boy, sorry. But yes, that’s good."
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