Anton Walkes won’t be playing for Atlanta United in the forseeable future. However, that hasn’t stopped him from heaping praise onto the States, MLS, Atlanta and its residents in a recent interview with Portsmouth.co.uk.
If new players get the opportunity, I would always recommend they go for it,” said the now Portsmouth player. “It’s a great country, the football is amazing, the city is amazing and the people are amazing. It’s the weather, nice restaurants, sights to see. Everything there is amazing. The standard is increasing rapidly there. It’s an unbelievable place.
Walkes discussed the process that brought him to the ATL in the first place.
Atlanta were lacking players and needed more. Luckily enough, there were a few connections at Tottenham with (Tata Martino) and (Mauricio Pochettino) knowing each other. Atlanta’s president, Darren Eales, previously worked for Spurs so we used that link and thankfully they wanted me. It’s not often English players go to MLS, but I was willing to take that risk.
The 20-year-old admits there were plenty of growing pains he experienced while earning regular professional minutes for the first time in his career.
It’s all about getting a taste for men’s football and realizing it’s a lot different than the academy and reserves. There’s no time to take things slowly. You have to be ready from the first whistle. We twice played in front of more than 70,000. That’s a lot to deal with when quite young. That’s a Cup Final attendance. It’s all about using that experience in good ways.
Walkes also looks at the bright side when revisiting Atlanta’s tough end to last season.
We got to the playoffs and fell short unfortunately. For an expansion team to come out of nowhere in their first year and to do that as massive underdogs was superb. I wish them good luck again next season.
It would be great for Walkes to eventually return to Atlanta. He clearly loves everything about the club and it’s important to remember that he’s only 20. With a couple years spent honing his craft in England, Atlanta United supporters should keep an eye on Walkes’ development.
Similarly, he’ll be keeping an eye on us.
I will definitely go back to Atlanta on holidays.
Best of luck to Anton Walkes and Portsmouth.