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Ryan and Steven Sessegnon interviewed

last updated Friday 09th February 2018, 7:24 PM

Fulham Football Club

Ryan Sessegnon
Fulham defender
Ryan Sessegnon
Ryan Sessegnon
His Wiki page
Ryan Sessegnon
Fulham defender
Steven Sessegnon
Steven Sessegnon
His Wiki page
Ryan and Steven Sessegnon interviewed Ryan and Steven Sessegnon discuss their rise at Craven Cottage and future hopes It’s not often you find two brothers playing professional football for the same club; rarer still for twins to do that.

But Ryan and Steven Sessegnon are realising their dreams together and at their local club Fulham.

The 17-year-olds from Roehampton signed their first professional contracts in 2017 just two years after helping their school win the PlayStation Schools’ Cup. The brothers have enjoyed international success with the England age-group teams while Ryan is among the most highly prized teenagers in the English game.

But speaking to the Sessegnons at their former school in Surrey, it’s clear their rapid rise has not fazed them.

“I wouldn’t say it’s weird because this is what we’ve set out to do,” says Ryan at Coombe Boys’ School. “Some people may think it’s a surprise what we’ve achieved since we left school. But we’ve been aiming for things like that.”

“It’s what we wanted,” Steven adds.

The brothers owe much of their early success to Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, who has brought both, but particularly Ryan, through into the first team over the past two seasons.

“Obviously it’s harder now for young players in the Premier League to go up from the academies into the first teams,” says Ryan. “But for us to be at Fulham — we’re not in the Premier League — it’s a bit of an easier step.

“It’s harder, too, because the Championship is such a demanding league. Fulham trust young players.”

Such trust has led to international call-ups, with Ryan winning the Under-19 European Championships last July, while Steven got two assists in the final as England Under-17s came from two goals down to beat Spain and win the World Cup in October.

“Young players always want to win things,” says Ryan. “So to win this at such a young age was great for me.

“To go away and win a tournament for your country and come back and know that everyone has heard of it and is talking about it gives you confidence going back to your club.”

That confidence boost has been easy to see, particularly within Ryan as he has played a key role for Fulham this season, with the club fifth in the Championship.

After a breakthrough 2016-17 campaign, when he scored seven goals in 30 appearances, Ryan already has 11 goals this season — including a hat-trick against Sheffield United in an amazing 5-4 victory for Fulham. Part of his increased return has been down to a switch from left-back to left-wing.

“I’m happy to be versatile right now but I play where the gaffer wants me to play,” says Ryan. “I’m enjoying my position on the left wing because I think I’m affecting the game more in terms of goals and assists. But I’m happy to play wherever I’m told.”

Ryan attracted interest from Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United last summer while Chelsea and Manchester City were also thought to have kept a close eye on the 17-year-old. But Ryan stayed at Fulham and feels his decision has been justified given he has already played 33 games this term.

“It was flattering to be linked with other clubs but my main focus was on Fulham,” Ryan says. “My aim has always been to try and help the club get back into the Premier League. I didn’t pay too much attention to it. I’m always focused on my job at Fulham.

“As you can see in every league game I’ve started, each game I try to be better than the last. I’m enjoying having this good season. That is down to the game time I’m getting.”

Steven is eager to emulate Ryan’s early success but insists the twins need not stay together at Fulham in order to progress.

“It’s great to see Ryan doing so well,” Steven says. “I just want to be up there with him. I keep working hard and soon I’ll be up there, too. It’s not a big thing for us to stay at the same club.

“We managed to do it and it’s great because we can push each other on and be around each other and do well. It just happened. We try to give each other a lot of advice from another person’s perspective. Advice is welcome.”

Source Vaishali Bhardwaj at Evening Standard

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