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Tuesday, 17 July 2012 21:35

PortuGOAL ExclusiveExclusive Caleb interview: “These are exciting times”

New Vitória Setúbal goalkeeper looking to stay upwardly mobile

Setubal badgeCalebIn the summer of 2011 goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell arrived in Portugal very much an unknown quantity. One year down the line, and in the wake of a highly impressive season at Atlético Clube de Portugal, Caleb has been snapped up by top-flight side Vitória Setúbal.

Talking exclusively to PortuGOAL, Caleb spoke about his rapid rise up the football pyramid in Portugal, his thoughts on Vitória Setúbal and coach José Mota, and his excitement ahead of the new season.

Caleb’s positive outlook and ambitious attitude stood out from the moment he took the plunge and signed for a Portuguese club one year ago - a highly unusual career option for American or Australian players. His courageous decision has so far paid off, and the 25-year-old says that right now he is where he expected to be.

“When I first came to Portugal that was what I had in mind - to come here and prove myself and put myself in the shop window so to speak, so I could come and play at this level. That was my plan at least, so yeah, the last 12 months have worked out just about how I wanted. It’s a great thing to be here at Setúbal.” 

Not that Caleb is taking the jump to Portugal’s top division lightly. He says the upgrade in training facilities is noticeable, and is determined to give it everything he’s got to grab his chance to impress on a bigger stage. “At the moment it’s just going home, eat, sleep and return to training each day - that’s pretty much my schedule right now.”

Caleb admits the coaching staff or club brass have not yet discussed the objectives ahead of the new season and he is happy to stick to the old football adage of taking it one game at a time. “I guess the objective ahead of every game is to win, and to climb as high up the ladder as we can. I think that’s the objective of any team, in any league, anywhere. We’re no different. We want to be very difficult to beat at home and pick up points away.”

José MotaAnd in coach José Mota, Caleb believes the Sadinos have the right man at the helm to achieve that goal. The goalkeeper gave the veteran coach a ringing endorsement, revealing that he was a big part of the reason he chose to sign for Vitória.

“He’s a player’s coach. Every guy in the locker room wants to play for him. I know I do. He’s a very fair guy. He’s honest. He’ll tell you when you do well and he’ll also tell you when you’re not pulling your weight.

“He treats everybody the same, and when you’re speaking about coaches that’s what you’re looking for - honesty and consistency. He provides that and he’s definitely a guy who likes to win and that transpires in the training sessions and the players.

“He’s got a “give it all you’ve got” kind of attitude and nothing less will be accepted, so for me he’s a great coach to play under. He’s very well respected - he’s obviously the reason I came here and so far so good.”

As for Caleb’s personal goals, he is looking no further than establishing himself as a regular in the Liga ZON Sagres - a task he recognises will be far from straightforward. “I’m just looking to work hard in pre-season and hopefully I’m the goalkeeper who gets the call. It’s a fight, it’s not easy, so I’m definitely not looking further down the line than that. It’s easy to get carried away, but you have to take it one thing at a time.”

With the big kick-off one month away, as ever at this time of the year, excitement is building among Portuguese fans up and down the country. Vitória have been handed a challenging start to the new campaign. The club travel to Madeira to play Nacional on the opening day of the season, followed by their first home game against none other than Benfica. Is Caleb daunted? Not a bit of it.

“Yeah. There are no easy games in this league but the big teams are the ones that every player wants to play against. There’s no doubt that come the first game away and then the first game at home we’ll be ready to go, so it’s exciting times and it’s good to have a big fixture early on in the year.”
To listen to the full interview click on the play button below:

by Tom Kundert

Comments (6)
Caleb and Portuguese language
6 Wednesday, 18 July 2012 22:04
If I could ask Caleb a question, it would be "How much progress have you made in speaking Portuguese this year? Does the club set you up with an instructor or were you on your own to learn it?" A keeper has to be able to call out instructions on free kicks, direct the defense and even get in teammates faces for mistakes and slack play, so whereas a field player might get away with minimal command of the language, Portuguese is essential for his position. I would also ask "How do you like living in Portugal, in Lisbon?"
5 Wednesday, 18 July 2012 17:18
Thanks for the reply! I could tell for the past bit it’s been a bit slower, rightly so. Was just looking at some of the potential line-ups and it looks like that old Nike ad with Figo and Ronaldo on the same team within that cage match. It will also be good to see a throw back of the likes of Pauleta, Figo, Rui Costa, Petit from our golden era playing once again.

Looking forward to the article and the stories later in the summer on how the various clubs are making out for pre-season. Only been able to catch parts here and there.
Thanks Ben
4 Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:48
Mdot, some posters have commented on our Glorioso in other articles.

I'm a bit nervous due to Nico still being with the team and the possibility of Axel leaving. Us playing attacking mids as our backs is also a troubling trend.
I will say that some were looking for Silvio to find his way back, but I'm glad it looks as if he's not. For me he was a one trick pony that now has had a severe injury.
Seeing Martins once again on the squad also makes me nervous. We have better quality, but for some reason I can see him starting. Not good, in my eyes.
Just some thoughts.
Might have been better off staying at Atletico
3 Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:27
Since the last article was about a horribly run club, I guess it's unfair, but the trend continues. Unfortunately for Caleb, he has gone to a club that is also hanging by a thread financially.
I rail hard against the nonexistent marketing departments in Portugal. The Big 3 can get away with it, but the others can't. If you are in Setubal, you barely know that a game is scheduled for the day unless you pick up the paper. No reaching out to the people in the city, nevermind the surrounding areas, Almada, Barreiro, Moita, Sesimbra, Palmela, etc.. that are all within reach.
As for Caleb I wish him the best. He better hope to start since this club can drop at any time. I believe that Setubal just brought in Fonseca from Leixoes and they are the only two goalies currently on the roster. Last seasons bunch I believe aren't being counted on.
The better story here is the production of players coming out Atletico Club De Portugal. A club known more for its swimming than futebol. Rudy, comes to mind, has gone on to develop. I'm really looking forward to watching a match at the Tapadinha.
2 Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:14
A fair question...as you may have been able to tell there's a bit of a skeleton crew around these parts at the moment, I think I speak for everyone when I say I personally am a bit footballed out. However...there will be something up on this game tomorrow, yep! Maybe not so much on the game itself (it's only a friendly) but the event, like you mentioned.

Also I'm going to do a summer so far piece for all of next season's Liga clubs in the next week.

Unrelated Question
1 Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:02
Sorry for the off topic question but I wanted to ask if there will be any coverage of Benfica’s pre-season. So far we’ve seen some coverage on Porto, Sporting, and several mid-table clubs.

Today the likes of Figo, Mantorras, Petit, Rui Costa, Kezman, Davids, Meira, Mendieta, Jay Jay Okocha , Ronald de Boer, Pauleta, Cannavaro, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Roger, etc…all playing in Lisbon. I’m hoping there will be some coverage on this game since it’s not only a high profile event for Benfica but for the country as a whole.

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