Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain recognised at Sports Journalism Awards
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has won the Best International Newcomer award at the prestigious Sports Journalism Awards in London.
The England midfielder was presented with his trophy by FA Board member Heather Rabbatts at a special ceremony held at The Pavilion next to the Tower of London.
The 19-year-old could not hide his delight at lifting an award won previously by the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray and Wayne Rooney.
Addressing the 600-strong guests gathered in the room, which included Sportswoman of the Year winner Jessica Ennis, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “It is a massive honour to win this award.
“I only found out a couple of days ago. I was rushing straight from training so I didn’t know if I was going to be able to make it but I am delighted I have been able to pick it up.
“It has been a whirlwind year for me. Everything has come quite quickly and I am starting to find out the pressures of being a professional footballer at the highest level and the highs and lows.
“At the moment Arsenal are in a bit of a low, this is a nice little pick-me-up, so thank you.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain was also quick to pay tribute to Southampton for their part in his development as a young player which led to him representing the Three Lions at this summer’s European Championships.
He added: “I can’t thank Southampton enough. I love the club. At the time when I came to leave, I thought it was the right thing to do. I still think it was.
“I have pushed on at Arsenal but I won’t forget everything Southampton did for me. They brought me through from the age of seven and I was there for a long time.
“The coaching staff, the people that worked at the training ground, everyone involved at Southampton has made me who I am today.
“I have to thank them massively. I won’t forget what they have done for me."
He also had words of praise for his father Mark, himself a former England winger who was also at the glittering event.
Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “He is always on my back. I wouldn’t want it any other way. From day one, he has always pushed me hard.
“He has always understood that I wanted to do this so he is there to give me advice I need. I respect him massively.
“He is a big inspiration to me with the background he has had in football. I listen to what he says. I believe what he says is true.
“So far he hasn’t been far off with what he has told me. He is always on to me as most people are and the fans are at the moment as well.
“I need that and I don’t mind a bit of that because it pushes you to be better and that is what I am trying to do.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain has big plans for club and country in future and said he was hoping to achieve even more in the future.
He added: “I love what I do every day. At training, I love being around the lads. As some of you might know I am a bit of a character so I love playing football, I love the people involved.
“If you don’t love what you do there is something wrong and I am sure every athlete here would say they love what they do and hopefully I continue to do that.
“And obviously, if we win some stuff, that helps.”