Joël Piroe: Nothing But Positives

Joël Piroe: Nothing But Positives

Leeds United forward chats to Bridgey and Matt for the Leeds United podcast

The latest episode of the Leeds United Podcast is out and Leeds United forward Joël Piroe joins Michael Bridges and Matthew Lewis to discuss everything from his early years in the game, to how you can pronounce his name properly.

With six goals in his first 13 games for Leeds, Piroe reveals that there's still more to come from himself and his partnerships with Georginio and the rest of the squad.

Listen To The Latest Episode Now:

Key Quotes From The Podcast:

Joël, how are you finding Leeds and how are you settling in?

"Really well, it's a great area with nice people. The people that were already here, they've really helped a lot in settling down. I knew a couple of players already, especially the Dutch guys, like Cree and Pascal from the youth teams, and then I knew some of the names that I'd seen play before.

"I have to say I really love the guys, they're really nice, helpful, open, friendly, nothing but positives."

Is it true that when you were younger, you actually played at left back and left midfield, rather than a striker?

"Yeah, that's right. I always scored loads of goals, even playing as a defender or a midfielder, so one of the NEC coaches just said "You know what, let's try him at striker" and it just stuck."

Joel Piroe celebrates after scoring for PSV U21s

You came through at the likes of PSV and Feyenoord, who were your idols back then? Who were your mentors?

"At Feyenoord, I had Roy Makaay, we had loads of training sessions together, and then of course at PSV, I had Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luc Nilis.

"Nilis' technique, we learnt a lot from him, nowadays, often everyone just thinks about speed, power, they just want to shoot as hard as possible, but he would say "no, shoot with 30% less power but be more precise, and you'll get the job done.

"It's funny, when I think about Roy Makaay, I used to love trying to dink a goalkeeper or do something silly, and he was the one, even if you scored, he would scream at you, almost want to kill you and say "No! Just finish it!", that's just the type of guy he was, just keep it simple."

At Swansea, two weeks after joining a new manager came in, what's it like when a new gaffer comes in? Do they sit you down and discuss their plans?

"Yeah, he took me into his office and we had a chat. He said in his mind, with the team as he knew it, he knew players like Matt Grimes, Jamie Patterson, Kyle Naughton and knew how he would want to work with them, but he didn't know me.

"In the first meeting we had, he said I don't really like your intensity, I want to bring in another striker, so I'm going to take number 9 off you, you can have another number. He said it doesn't mean I don't want to work with you, you can still show yourself to me, but this is what I think at the moment and it's up to you to change my mind."

Obviously at Swansea, you knuckled down because you ended up scoring 41 goals and becoming prolific?

"Yeah, that's obviously the luck I had, I think, with the gaffer, Russell Martin, that he was open for change. I don't think he knew what I was capable of, because looking back, I fitted into the system that he wanted to play, so it worked out both ways."

Joel Piroe and Georginio celebrate a goal at Elland Road

At Leeds, you've created a great partnership with Georginio. How have you gone about that in training and enjoyed playing alongside him?

"I've enjoyed it a lot. He's a player, if you see him play football, you can just enjoy it. He's also very open to having a conversation. From day one, it didn't really feel like competition, but more that we're here to help each other grow, learn from each other and work together the best we can. He's been very open to it as well, that's what I think has made it easier to work together, that we're not envious of each other."

Do you enjoy the role you play or would you rather be up front?

"I definitely enjoy it. I know I can bring more, I haven't shown my full capacity, that's something that needs a little time, it's not just me needing to know the other players, they need to get to know me a little more. I wouldn't say we're fully working together as how it will be towards the end.

"The boss explained it really well to me and Georginio, he tries to make us swap positions more often. In the start, I think we've been a little too static about it, maybe because we're both young and not as experienced, compared to other players who might feel it a little more. I feel like that's where we are now, that we're deciding for ourselves, when we swap, how long we swap for, that's something we can still improve even more, when you know it just works, you just keep on doing it."

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