Joel Nouble insists he’ll never stop trying to get the better of his big brother Frank — even when it comes to FIFA gaming sessions.
However, the Arbroath loan star reckons the support of his older sibling has helped to shape him into the player and person he is now.
Frank Nouble was among English football’s hottest properties as a teenager, turning out for West Ham in the Premier League and representing his country at the Under-19 European Championships in 2010.
With his career taking the elder Nouble to 16 different clubs, from Coventry to China, there are few situations that Frank has not experienced.
And he was more than willing to pass those lessons onto Joel — six years his junior — as the towering striker made his own circuitous way in the game.
“People always look up to their older brothers, and to watch Frank playing in the Prem at 17 years old was inspirational,” Nouble Jr told Courier Sport.
“I saw him and thought ‘wow, he’s come from the same place as me, and that’s what you can achieve’.
“My journey has been different but I always know he’s there to give me advice.
“When I was injured, he was there to support me. My family bring so much positivity into my life.
Three points. ✅
Goal of the Weekend. ✅
— Sky Bet League Two (@SkyBetLeagueTwo) August 28, 2017
“There were times when my football wasn’t thriving and he was there to tell me, from experience, that the hard times don’t last; just keep pushing.
“Everyone is your biggest fan during the good times.
“Having someone like that in your corner in the hard times is special.”
FIFA fighting talk
Nouble’s cast-iron will to win can also be traced back to his rapport with Frank.
He laughed: “When we were younger, everything was a competition. Even now, we’ll play FIFA or something and it gets properly competitive.
“That’s for life! I’m really competitive and I probably got a lot of that from him.”
The hard times to which Nouble refers now seem like a distant memory.
He is in irrepressible form for the Lichties and was this week named Championship player of the month for September.
Nouble credits much of that to boss Dick Campbell.
— SPFL (@spfl) September 20, 2021
“Dick has never put pressure on me,” he continued. “He wants me to play the game, express myself and has given me the freedom to cause problems.
“He is an incredible character and personality. His team-talks are the best I’ve ever heard.
“You never know what you’ll get. You would think that you’d be serious before a big game, but he has us all smiling and relaxed.
“I’ve ran onto the pitch laughing because of his team-talks!”
The Lions’ King?
Livingston — the lowest scorers in the Premiership — have the option to recall Nouble in January.
“That’s out of my control,” he added. “I came to Scotland to play in the Premiership so it would be brilliant to get that opportunity.
“But if I play the whole season at Arbroath then I’ll give everything for this club.”