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Dundee star Jay Chapman lifts lid on David Beckham training sessions in Miami as Canadian recruit seeks to make Scottish mark

Jay Chapman was with David Beckham's MLS franchise Inter Miami before joining Dundee. Supplied by Shutterstock/SNS
Jay Chapman was with David Beckham's MLS franchise Inter Miami before joining Dundee. Supplied by Shutterstock/SNS

Jay Chapman was used to rubbing shoulders with David Beckham as they trained together in the glorious Miami sunshine.

Now the 28-year-old is relishing the challenge of adapting to the game in Scotland – and its bitterly-cold weather – with Dundee.

The Canadian international joined the Dark Blues earlier this month after leaving MLS outfit Inter Miami when their season finished in November.

The American club, which is partly owned by ex-Manchester United and England star Beckham, includes the likes of former Real Madrid and Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain as well as French midfielder Blaise Matuidi on their roster.

Chapman loved playing for Inter Miami but now he is starting to enjoy a new chapter in his life and is determined to make his mark in Scottish football.

Looking back at his time in the States, Chapman said: “David Beckham would come and go but he would train with us sometimes in pre-season.

“What better player to learn from than him? He’s maybe not got the fitness he used to have, but he’s in great shape for someone his age.

“He can’t run the way he used to but he can still ping a ball wherever he wants it to go so it was amazing seeing him up close and speaking to him about football.

“Miami was good and I was able to share a pitch with Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, players who have done it all.

“It was a great experience and learning curve but now coming to Dundee is another challenge for me.”

Chapman was on the bench for the Dark Blues at a bitterly-cold McDiarmid on Wednesday night as they secured a draw against relegation rivals St Johnstone.

Jay Chapman was on the bench for Dundee in their midweek draw with St Johnstone. Supplied by SNS

And the midfielder admitted that even though he is Canadian, it might take him some time to adjust to the Scottish weather.

He added: “It’s a bit different coming to Scotland from Miami.

“I am from Canada so I’m used to the cold from back home but even in Toronto at this time of year we’d travel south for training.

I was on the bench at the St Johnstone game and the weather definitely wasn’t the best!

“The wind and rain is definitely not what you get in Miami.

“But it was a good experience, the fans were incredible and it’s exciting to think I’ll be playing in front of them.

“The weather won’t bother me too much, I will adjust to it – although I was doing runs the other day and I felt my lungs freezing!”

Chapman admitted he had wanted to try his luck in Europe and sounded out the likes of former Dundee striker and fellow Canadian Marcus Haber before making his move to the City of Discovery.

He said: “I’m just glad to be here, I have wanted to play in Europe for a number of years.

“I had an option on my contract in Miami but it didn’t get picked up so I was looking for a new club and this came up.

My agent explained a bit about Dundee and Scottish football to me, I spoke to Marcus Haber who used to play here too and he told me to go for it.

“I am also very good friends with Lewis Morgan from Miami so he always talked about how football here is different, it’s fast and aggressive.

“He was buzzing for me when he heard I was coming, so he’s going to give me a few tips about where to go, what to see, where to shop and all that stuff.

“I spoke to the manager, he explained what he’s looking for and how he wants us to play so it was something that really interested me.”

The story behind Dundee’s signing of Jay Chapman: Darren O’Dea, MLS stats and what the Canadian international will bring to the Dark Blues

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