From serving vegan ice cream to marking Christian Doidge, Shortwood captain Joe Tryner is making great strides on and off the pitch. Ashley Loveridge caught up with the commanding 20 year-old centre-back to discuss his career to date.

AL: Where did you begin your football career?

JT: My youth career started at Evesham and Broadway United on a Saturday right up until I was 18. I then went off to Cardiff Metropolitan University, where I played for Cardiff Metropolitan F.C. in the Welsh Youth Premier League, although I left university during the first year due to personal reasons.

AL: How has your senior career panned out?

JT: Last season, I started my first season of men’s Saturday football playing for FC Barometrics in Gloucestershire Northern Senior League One , my manager was Joey Tustain, we had a really good season last year finishing second, but come the end, we decided to leave the club and all go our separate ways.

I started this season at Slimbridge, and had a good pre-season with them playing pretty much every minute until I got injured and found myself out of the team. That’s when I got let go and Joey Tustain gave me a message to head across to Shortwood with him. I’ve also played for my local Sunday village team since I turned 16 (Alderton FC).

AL: How are you enjoying what is certainly a chastening season at Shortwood?

JT: Despite the results, I’m loving it. It’s a brilliant set-up with devoted fans that turn up week-in-and-week-out, cheering us on - win or lose. The committee are excellent as well from maintaining the pitch to little things like making sure there’s a drink behind the bar for us after the game.

AL: How did you feel when you were handed the armband at Shortwood?

JT: The captaincy came as quite a shock to be honest, but I’m enjoying leading the side and it’s nice to have that recognition from Jason Scrivens and Tust (Joey Tustain) for giving me the chance.

AL: You've come along way in a short time. What are your aims in semi-pro football?

JT: Obviously, I’d like to play as high as possible. Two years ago I was playing Sunday pub football and hoping to reach this sort of level by my peak, so hopefully I can keep progressing at the same rate and continue to climb the ladder. However, I’m very happy at Shortwood and I’d like to stay and help get them back to the Southern League, where they belong.

AL: I understand you're currently a student at Gloucestershire University?

JT: Yes, I’m currently in my second year studying sport and exercise science at Gloucestershire University. Alongside my core modules I took some additional modules in, nutrition, sports injuries, a placement module and performance analysis. Performance analysis is a area I’d like to go on and do a masters in and hopefully this will lead to a job.

AL: As part of your course you've spent time on placement at Forest Green. This must be a great experience for you?

JT: My role at FGR is varied, but it mainly involves working closely with Tom Huelin (fitness coach). During training I usually help with preparation such as setting up my little sport science desk with GPS monitors. I also help with warm ups and in the gym doing strength and conditioning sessions. On match days, I’ll usually help setting up again as well as running hydration tests on the players to make sure they are all properly hydrated for the game.

AL: You've taken part in shape sessions with the first team - how have you enjoyed this side of your placement?

JT: Yes, sometimes I’m needed for shape drills in the actual training sessions so the gaffer (Mark Cooper) drafts me in against the players. It’s a good experience playing against the likes of Christian Doidge and Reuben Reid and learning about the speed/tempo of play.

The physicality and speed is a big step up compared to what I’m used to, but I’ve felt I’ve not done too badly.

Being able to watch the training sessions has helped my game, I always listen in to the gaffer and watch how the defenders position themselves and deal with situations.

AL: What do you do outside of football?

JT: In the summer I work for my friends ice cream company. We’ve just started a vegan range, which I keep saying he should contact FGR about.