Kieffer Moore has had quite a career.
From playing in the National League only three years ago to lining up alongside Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey for Wales, potentially at Euro 2020, Moore is also almost certainly the only player to tread the rarely trodden path from Yeovil to Viking FK in Norway.
Now, he’s at Wigan, and has been one of the key men in their recent turnaround. The Latics looked dead and buried, a return to League One a virtual certainty as they sat firmly in the relegation zone and looking adrift, as recently as the end of January. But they have lost just one of the last nine (only Leeds have collected more points in that time), including a remarkable 1-0 win over league leaders West Brom, and while they’re not safe yet, things are certainly looking up.
Moore doesn’t put the revival down to any one factor. “It was more more a case of getting that one win under our belts, and then the momentum from that carrying us on from there. We’d been playing well beforehand. We were just not getting the luck of the draw and getting results. But ever since we finally got that win, things start changing and I think there’s been a lot more belief around the place.”
Moore’s performances as a classic target man, the sort of player that Antonio Conte would always call a ‘point of reference’, put him into the Welsh team that qualified for this summer’s European Championships. Quite a rise from non-league football.
“I didn’t really think about it too much [when first called up] because I was just all caught up in the moment. But, you know, when you when you do look back and when you think of of the career progression – I do hold that in high esteem. I am very proud of what I’ve been able to achieve. And this is only just this the start of me. I’m about to get going now, in a sense.”
After scoring 17 goals for Barnsley in League One last season, he joined Wigan in the summer and while he hasn’t been as prolific (six goals thus far), he’s been a key man in a struggling team. That unusual career path must have shaped the player he is now, and helped establish himself at Championship level.
I really enjoyed my time [in Norway]. It was obviously cut short because I wasn’t really getting the game time I wanted, but I did learn a lot out there. You know, it’s a different style of football, a different culture. And I learnt a lot from from that experience.
“It’s all a learning curve. I believe every day here is a a step towards success. I take every failure as a as a lesson. And I always try to take something from every failure and slowly improve year-by-year.
“I’ve had a very fruitful career, you can say. I’ve been up and down. But I’m here to stay. Now I feel like I’ve really cemented my presence.”
Wigan face Huddersfield at the weekend, just a point separating the sides, and victory could put some real distance between Paul Cook’s side and the bottom three.
“We’ve got a massive game coming up. We know what they’re about, and they’re a good footballing team. The position they find themselves in, no-one would’ve seen that at the start of the season. But football’s a funny old game, and I believe we’ve definitely got enough to to beat them. Three points would be massive for our season.”
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