Ince keen on Hull education

Tom Ince says he put his football education at the top of his priorities when deciding on his future, before signing for Hull City ahead of Italian giants Inter Milan this summer.

Former England defender Ashley Cole questioned why more English players don’t decide to try their luck in overseas football earlier this week, after sealing a close-season switch from Chelsea to AS Roma.

And England Under-21s winger Ince was linked with a number of European clubs after leaving Blackpool at the end of last season, including Inter where his father Paul was a popular player in the 1990s.

But after turning down the chance to join the San Siro club, Ince felt it was more important to think of his own footballing progression on this occasion but admits that playing abroad in the future is something he would consider.

Tom Ince in action for England Under-21s.

Ince has been a regular in the England Under-21s squad over the last two years

“At my age I have to think about football development,” revealed Ince, who has signed an initial two-year deal at the KC Stadium.

“I’ve come here to be educated. Anyone can go to a status club and pick up five or six times more money than you could do in the UK but I’m a footballing person – that’s why this move is right for me.

“I went out there [to Inter] and spent a good three or four days there. I went to the San Siro, the training ground and it was unbelievable to stand there in that environment.

“That’s an ambition of mine but I don’t think you should jump the gun.

“You’ve got to realise that when you’re a young lad you have to educate yourself and make moves for the right reasons. That’s all that matters.”

It is an attitude which has served the 22-year-old well so far in his career, having started out as a youngster with another of his father’s former clubs Liverpool.

But after struggling to make the breakthrough at Anfield, he turned down a new contract and joined Blackpool, where he made over 100 appearances in the Championship and became an England Under-21s regular.  

He is now hoping to keep his development on track under the guidance of Tigers boss Steve Bruce in the Premier League.

“I’ve taken the long route in my career,” he told the Hull Daily Mail

Ince speaks to TheFA.com about his time with the England squad

“I took a brave decision at 18 to leave Liverpool when many players would have stayed. There’s not many people who have done that, taken a step back and a different route.

“Blackpool were absolutely fantastic for me, I haven’t regretted the decision I made to leave Liverpool at all. 

“I feel as though I kept Blackpool in the Championship for two years running, I’ve gained strength and experience from playing every week. 

“Now I feel it’s the right step to play in the Premier League and I can’t wait to get started. I’m taking it step-by-step, I see my career as a ladder and this is the next step up.”

Ince, who had his first taste of the top flight during a loan spell with Crystal Palace last season, is also looking forward to working under Bruce, someone he has known for years but has yet to play under.

With the famous video images of a young Ince playing football in the Old Trafford tunnel with Hull defender Alex Bruce and Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel when their respective fathers were playing for Manchester United in the mid-1990s still in the memory, it is a long-standing relationship which he is now glad to extend to a professional level.

“Steve was key, he was massive in me wanting to come to Hull City,” added Ince.

“He’s known me for god knows how long and he’ll put the exact same pressures on me as he does all the lads.

“To be back with familiar faces is fantastic. He knows my talents and what I can give and I’m sure he’ll be looking to develop parts of my game.”