Lewis Kinsella started his career at Premier League sides Arsenal and Aston Villa in their respective academies. After failing to make an appearance for Villa, Kinsella had spells at Luton Town and Kidderminster Harriers.
Shortly after, Colchester United was the club that Kinsella started to make a real name for himself, making 29 appearances for them before joining Aldershot Town on a month loan deal. Kinsella then joined The Shots permanently in May 2018. Lewis talks through his journey, the move to The Shots, his injury, his only goal to his name and some interesting hobbies too.
Let’s go back to the beginning, where did football start for you?
“When I was about five years old, my Dad took me over to the local football team and I wasn’t even ready to play because I was in an Action Man outfit!
“I did play in the end, I really enjoyed it and I’ve just carried on playing from there.”
Are there any interesting stories behind the Action Man outfit?
“No, not really. At five years old, I just really liked wearing it.
“I think I used to wear it all the time, to be honest. I don’t think I took it off a lot.”
You used to play in the academies of Arsenal and Aston Villa, what are the key thing that you have learnt from then?
“I’ve learnt that hard work and a good attitude gets you all the way to the top. I think when I was there, I showed a good attitude and worked really hard to try and improve my game and I really enjoyed it.
“Whenever I had my parents evening with the coaches, they used to always say I showed a great attitude, that I was a pleasure to coach and that I was improving really well.
“I always loved the games and worked hard every time I stepped out on the pitch. That’s why I loved it so much.”
I believe you scored your first ever goal at Aston Villa, have you scored any since?
“No, I haven’t. That’s the only goal that I’ve ever scored in my career.
“The goal was in an academy game but I’m sure it counts. I always try to get myself up the pitch and one day I was able to convert one chance that I had.
“In the future, I hope to get another chance to score again.”
You had spells at then League Two side Luton Town and National League Kidderminster Harriers, how important were those spells to making you the player you are today?
“I think they were a big learning curve. My first spell with Luton, I don’t think I was quite ready for it mentally, physically or technically.
“When I was at Kidderminster, I was a bit more well known to the game I think. I understood the game properly and it was a better experience for me down at Kidderminster.”
After that, you moved to Colchester United. How exactly did that move come to fruition?
“When I left Villa, there were a few teams interested and I spoke to two teams. I chose one of them which was Colchester United and said no to the other.
“I met with the manager to sign a few things, he had the paperwork ready and yeah I was good to go right there and then.
“Before then, I had to trial with other teams such as Swindon Town, Luton and Colchester. I did really well in my trial with Colchester and they were really impressed. I really enjoyed it there and I ended up staying there.
“I got a deal there for a year and I did well there in the first 16 games. Unfortunately, I got a bad injury and really struggled to get back in the side after that.”
You joined Aldershot Town on a month-loan deal from Colchester, what made you stay at Aldershot Town? What was so unique about the club?
“I really enjoyed the way that Gary Waddock wanted to play football and I really enjoyed working under him. I think that he’s a brilliant man-manager and I really enjoyed my football there.
“It’s a great club, the fans are brilliant but obviously I was looking to get back into League Two at the time and we looked really close.
“I believe that’s what truly persuaded me to stay at the club.”
How has Gary Waddock and the current manager Danny Searle helped you in terms of your progression as a footballer?
“I think they have both given me life to express myself, they both want to play attacking football and good football overall.
“They want to try and change how the National League is. I can see similarities in them both. Obviously, Gary has more experience but Danny is working really hard to gain that experience.
“He (Danny Searle) is doing all of the qualifications and there is no doubt in my mind that Danny is a great coach and he will go on to become an even better coach in the future.”
During our isolation period, how have you kept up your progression with your injury? Has it been more difficult with gyms closing due to lockdown?
“Unfortunately, it is what it is. I’ve been able to go up to the EBB Stadium and Aldershot have been really good in letting me borrow some of their equipment to continue my recovery at home.
“I’ve been doing as much as I can and I’ve been given a program to follow daily so that I can get back to full fitness at the earliest opportunity.
“I will be seeing my specialist soon who will update me on what to do and how long I’ve got before I am at a full recovery. I’m hoping it’s good news.”
“This current pandemic has really shown us just how important football is to our lives and how much football means to us and the fans. That first game after all of this will be huge. The atmosphere will just be special and I can’t wait.
“There will be a lot of fans there and it’ll be a great day out for everyone.”
Are there any hobbies outside of football that Aldershot Town fans don’t know you get up to?
“No, I don’t think so. I’ve got a dog that I love to walk which goes all over my social media.
“I do love a bit of golf but unfortunately with my knee, I can’t really do that at the minute.
“Other than that, it’s just chilling out with my family.”