Portuguese winger Diogo Paiva had a trial with Isthmian League North Division club Cheshunt FC after impressing at our trial in December.
His uncle, Mauro, spoke to us about his nephew’s football history and the trial with Cheshunt.
What’s Diogo’s background in Portugal?
“He spent 9 years in the academy at Vitoria Setubal, who play in the highest league in Portugal. During that time he had a few loans to teams in the division below where he was playing first team football in front of up to 1,000 people, but last year he was released and we decided to move to England, for football among other reasons.”
What happened at the trial with Cheshunt?
“One of the scouts from UK Football Trials had contacts at Cheshunt and recommend Diogo to the coach there, who said he could go down to the training ground for a session. The session lasted a couple of hours doing the usual drills, fitness, crossing, finishing and so on. I think it went well; the coach seemed to like him.”
How did the standard compare to what he’s used to?
“It’s a good standard, he trains with Bedfordshire College Football Development at the moment and Cheshunt was much higher than what he’s playing currently. This was his first trial in England, so it’s good to get to know the game here."
What are the big differences between football in Portugal, and here in England?
“English football is more direct, as soon as you get it you have to pass it to the striker and try to score. In Portugal they play more football and it’s a slower tempo.”
How much training does Diogo do in a normal week?
“Typically he trains two to three times a week and has a match day as well, so he plays regularly, working on different things throughout the week."
Portugal to UK Football Trials, quite a journey…
“Yeah! Someone told me about it and we decided to try it out – we were looking for options to find him a club and there are a lot of scouts all in one place. He loved it. It was well organised and the coaches spoke to the players personally, trying to help them."
"He displayed a brilliant technical ability for the whole trial and a good reading of the game. During the match he showed a good attitude, his communication was second to none – he’s a very quick player with great potential. I think Cheshunt could be a good step for him, it’s a decent level where scouts attend games looking for non-league gems, so he could put himself in the shop window."