Alex Purver was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire on the 1st December 1995, he started his football career with his home town club Leeds United in the youth academy before going on to captain the U21’s side. He want on to sign his first professional contract with the club before joining Vanarama National League side Guiseley for two loan spells at Nethermoor Park during the 2016-17 season, in which he helped the club avoid relegation.
After leaving Elland Road in summer, Purver joined Guiseley AFC on a two year deal under manager Adam Lockwood, however after just eight games Lockwood was sacked and a new manager Paul Cox joined the club. Shortly after the club turned professional and a number of new players arrived but results don’t change and in February with the club bottom of the league Cox was dismissed and the club went back to being semi-pro. Experienced professional Sean St Ledger took charge until the end of the season but he couldn’t stop the club from being relegated to the Vanarama National League North.
Guiseley started the 2018-19 season well and were in and around the play-offs for most of the season, the club also had an excellent FA Cup run after beating Sky Bet League Two Accrington Stanley the previous season, the Lions went on to beat Sky Bet League Two Cambridge United at Nethermoor Park in the first round before being beaten away at Mansfield Town in the second round. Alex Purver left the club in the summer having made a total of 95 appearances, scoring 7 goals for the club.
After a short trial in June 2019, Purver signed an eighteen month contract with Swedish side Ostersunds FK and made his debut for the club in the Allsvenskan against Norrkoping on the 21st July 2019. Chadwick Media this week caught up with the former Guiseley AFC midfielder to discuss his career and to talk about living in Sweden.
Biggest influence on your career in football?
My Mum and Dad are the biggest influence on my football career, the way they have constantly supported me in every-way imaginable throughout my career so far has been immeasurable. From driving me hundreds of miles a week around the country to training and games as a boy to always being there to talk and help me through all the highs & lows as I’ve got older, nothing would’ve been possible without them.
What is your best football highlight?
My best football highlight would have to be signing my first professional contract with my home town club Leeds United. I think it was more a mixture of relief and a release of stress more than anything, being told you’ve been offered a contract it made a really special day
Tell us about your Football League Debut?
I would probably class my first game over here in Sweden as my professional debut against Norrköping. I wasn’t really expecting to play as I had just signed, but I was still on a high from how quickly everything had happened over here, so I was just excited to play and test myself at a higher level. Unfortunately the game didn’t go our way and we lost 3-0.
Best Manager you Played for and Why?
Neil Redfearn is the best manager that I have played for the way he instilled confidence in you was amazing. You knew he genuinely cares about you and wanted the best for you. He made you want to play for him and created such a positive environment for the players in the academy at Leeds United in some crazy times.
Best Played you played with and why?
It would have to be Alex Mowatt at Leeds United, I always loved playing alongside him in the midfield. He could do a bit of everything as a midfielder and he has gone on to do that on the first team stage at Elland Road as well.
Toughest Opponent You faced and Why?
Playing Mateusz Klich in pre season was a great test. His clever movements to receive was better than anything I’d come up against before and he didn’t stop for the full 90 minutes.
Best Goal You Scored and Why?
My best goal was probably against Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup when I lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper Alex Cairns from 25 yards, but my favourite goal was against Curzon Ashton (home). That goal was an important goal in our season, in a really important game which we went onto win, so I would go for that goal.
You had a couple of loan spells at Guiseley before moving there full-time in 2017 how did you enjoy your time at the club and what will you remember most about your time at Nethermoor?
I really enjoyed my time at Guiseley, the thing I’ll always remember is the loyalty and support of the fans in some testing times. Whether we were away at Dover Athletic or Torquay United, not been in great form, their support never wavered and I was always amazed at the levels of support they showed throughout my time at the club.
You are now playing your football in Sweden at Ostersund FK how did the move come about and how are you enjoying your time overseas?
Mike Morton who I worked with at Leeds United told me Östersunds FK were looking for a midfielder and he helped me to come out on a weeks trial here initially in June after I’d left Guiseley. I did well in that trial and signed from there. I’ve loved my time over here so far both the football and the lifestyle, it’s been a fantastic experience.
Blair Turgott who had a loan spell in Yorkshire at Bradford City is currently playing for Ostersund FK, does it make it easier with another english player in the squad?
There’s 6 English lads in the team along with the manager Ian Burchnall and GK coach David Preece who are all English. So it does make the transition easier but the fact that everyone here speaks such good English has been the greatest help. Everyone has been more than welcoming to me which is great.
Is there a big difference in the training, diets & football in Sweden compared to clubs in the English Non-League?
The style of football over here is much different to England especially in comparison to the non-league in England. In terms of the training, it’s been brilliant being back full-time and being able to fully focus on playing rather than having to juggle playing around working like I did when I was at Guiseley.
The Coronavirus has stopped all sport in the UK and were all in lockdown, I believe there is currently no lockdown in Sweden so are you still training at the club. Does this make you nervous about being in close contact with other people whilst training and around town?
Yes it’s been interesting seeing how coronavirus has developed back home and seeing the different approach the government out here has taken. We are training together at the club and following all the advice and guidance from our doctor to stay as safe as possible.