Scotland star Aaron Hickey on Romeo Beckham friendship and rise for club and country
Aaron Hickey may not have the superstar dad or the entourage at Brentford but the 21-year-old’s fortunes continue to rise and rise. In truth, that has long been the case for Hickey.
The defender has achieved a lot in a short space for time for club and country. There is, though, plenty more to come as he goes from strength to strength and seeks to end another campaign of personal and collective achievement on a high note at Hampden.
Hickey lets his football do the talking. When it comes to one of his best mates in London, the noise level will always rise regardless of what happens on the pitch.
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Brentford announced the signing of Romeo Beckham on a permanent deal over the weekend. After an initial loan stint from Inter Miami – the club that is owned by his father and that has just signed Lionel Messi – last term, Beckham will now look to earn a reputation in his own right.
“He’s in the B Team so we are quite pally,” Hickey said. “I see him every day in the changing rooms and we hang out together.
“It’s funny, yeah [seeing his entourage]. His dad is David Beckham, which is a bit of a weird one, but he is a great guy. He is humble as well.
“He is a decent player and he’s in the reserve squad. I don’t really see too much but, from what I’ve heard, he seems to be decent.
“I haven’t met [David]. I’ve been round to his house a few times but he hasn’t been there. He is in the club sometimes just walking around but I haven’t met him or his mum.”
Hickey didn’t have the famous moniker to give him a start in the game. His plaudits and progression have come through natural talent and hard work and his final match of the campaign will come as Steve Clarke’s side face Georgia this evening.
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It is just over four years since Hickey made his first appearance for Hearts. A bold move to Bologna was followed by a big money one to Brentford and the international recognition he is receiving at present was always destined to come.
“I’m still quite young but, coming into this team, the gaffer believes in me so I’ve got to believe in myself and perform well for him,” Hickey said. “I’m just thankful to the gaffer.
“I don’t see too much of a difference between the two leagues (Serie A and the Premier League). You are coming up against bigger names in the Premier League. I like a challenge so it’s good for me playing every week against top-class players.
“It’s been really fast for me [since my Hearts debut]. Obviously, recently I moved club, moved country, got called up for Scotland and I’m meeting different people. It’s all come fast but I’m enjoying it all so far.
“I feel we’ve got a really good squad and we believe in ourselves as well but at the same time we know it’s not easy.
“We’ve got to be humble and work hard and focus game by game. But we’ve also got to keep focused and work hard together.”
Those qualities will be needed once again at Hampden. After the euphoria of the wins over Spain and Norway, Scotland now face an altogether different challenge against Georgia.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will be the main danger to Clarke’s side. The comparisons with Diego Maradona say it all about how highly rated the Napoli forward is.
Hickey said: “He plays on the left and I’ve watched him in Serie A and in the Champions League last season, you can tell he’s a top player and everyone knows that.
“We played against top players in Norway and we had Erling Haaland, Martin Odegaard and other top players so we know we can believe in ourselves and hopefully we can just do our best.
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“Funny enough I actually do enjoy the bigger challenges. I like to play against the top players This is another good challenge for me and I will enjoy it.
“I’ve not spoken to anyone about him but I’ve seen him myself in the Champions League for example and I know he’s a top player.
“He’s very good with one-v-ones and we all know as a team he’s one of their key players so we have to work together to try and shut him down as much as we can.”