By Ethan Harris
BARRY Town United’s latest signing Theo Wharton has revealed how playing against the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan helped shape him as a footballer.
A Saint Kitts and Nevis international, USW student Wharton has also played alongside West Bromwich Albion midfielder Romaine Sawyers and Fleetwood Town defender Macauley Southam-Hales among other full-time professionals.
Now the 25-year-old is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Southam-Hales, who also had a stint at Barry before moving into the English Football League. Wharton believes his international experiences can help him do just that.
“Every footballer wants to get as high as they can, but you’ve got to play well where you are,” Wharton said.
“You can’t think too far ahead, you need to do well where you are and hopefully that comes naturally.
“I’ve played with Romaine Sawyers who’s currently at West Brom in the Championship and I’ve played against (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan when he was at Arsenal, but he’s moved to Roma now.
“I think he (Mkhitaryan) scored a hat-trick or two goals and then he got brought off after 45 minutes (in the game I played in), that’s kind of how good he was. He only played half the game but impacted it more than anybody, so that was a good experience.
“Obviously, it’s a dream of everyone to reach that level, but he’s a top player and he’s been around for a while.”
Wharton confirmed his move to Jenner Park on Monday, joining the JD Cymru Premier outfit from National League North side Hereford FC.
After coming through Cardiff City’s academy to feature in the FA Cup, the Cwmbran-born midfielder managed caps for Wales up to the Under-21 level.
Now, having moved back to South Wales after plying his trade in the English Leagues, Wharton says he is excited to get going at Barry.
Wharton added: “I’m really looking forward to it, it was a good process in signing there.
“I had a few conversations with Gavin Chesterfield, and I spoke with Lee Kendall who is a coach here at USW. Then everything happened smoothly and I’m looking forward to starting on Saturday.
“Lee (Kendall) was a factor, we had a few conversations a few weeks or months ago but obviously the window doesn’t open until January so at the time we couldn’t really do anything about it.
“I’m really happy to be at the club.”