Nottingham Forest defender Alex Iacovitti taking inspiration from former Reds star Oliver Burke
By Sarah_Clapson, October 04, 2016, nottinghampost.com
Defender Alex Iacovitti has been inspired by former Nottingham Forest teammate Oliver Burke, ahead of a possible Scotland Under-21s debut.
Iacovitti has made the step up from the Under-19s as ex-Reds midfielder Scot Gemmill prepares for his first match in charge of the group, against Iceland tomorrow.
Burke played alongside him in the younger age group, as well as at the City Ground, where the pair came up through the ranks.
And the winger then progressed to the senior Scotland side, before earning a £13m move to German club RB Leipzig in the summer transfer window following an impressive start to the season.
Iacovitti hopes one day to get his own chance to impress on a bigger stage, and says Burke has shown what it is possible to achieve.
"Twister, or Oliver, was my room-mate with Forest and Scotland," the 19-year-old told Sporting Life. "He's one of my really good pals.
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"He's done really, really well with Scotland and Forest and he took his chances when he had to, and look at him now, he's flying.
"It hasn't surprised me. He has always been a great player, it was just a matter of time when people came in for him, but he has taken his chance really, really well.
"It's different positions but what he's done, it can happen to anybody. You just have to get a run of games.
"I speak to him on social media so we keep in touch. He came on and set up a goal (for Leipzig) and then his first start he scored, so he is flying."
And Iacovitti says he shares Burke's willingness to put in the extra hours.
"That's part of my game as well, to work hard," he added. "He never misses a gym session and that's how it should be as well."
Iacovitti currently finds himself on loan at League Two Mansfield Town as he looks to build up his experience of senior football.
He started the first two Championship matches of the season for the Reds, making his debut in the 4-3 victory over Burton Albion on the opening day.
But with competition increasingly fierce for a place in Philippe Montanier's starting XI, he is benefitting from a run of games with the Stags.
"I started the first two games in the Championship with Forest but then they brought in a few senior players and the gaffer said he can't really afford for me just to sit on the bench and not really play, so it was the best thing for me to go out and get games," he said.
"It's a good experience as well, so I can hopefully go back to Forest and take it from there.
"It's different, it's a lot more direct. The experienced pros are helping me out so it's a great league to learn in. There's quite a few decent players in League Two as well but it's a bit more direct.
"If I can handle that, hopefully I can go back to Forest and knock on the door and take it from there."
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