Atlanta United’s Anton Walkes said he’s learning as much about being a professional soccer player off the pitch as he is on during his loan from Tottenham in England’s Premier League.
“Dealing with the maintaining the lifestyle of being a league professional,” he said.
Because his family is in England, Walkes said he has a lot of free time.
He occasionally will do a few extra training sessions. The rest of the time he spends using Uber to explore Atlanta.
“The city is amazing,” he said. “There’s a lot of good things to do.”
He has visited Olympic Centennial Park because he wanted to compare it with what was done in London when it hosted the Summer Olympics in 2012. He’s been to a lot of live events. And he loves the Georgia Aquarium. He said he sent several photos and videos from there to his family.
Walkes said his family will soon come to visit him, which he is very excited about.
“You might see a few more smiles from me,” he said.
He said he is here and working to become a better pro because he wants to make them proud.
The 20-year-old has three appearances (all as a sub), including coming on for the final 12 minutes of Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Vancouver. On the field, he said he’s learned that in MLS any mistakes are punished by opponents.
He wouldn’t commit to saying he has a future as a pro in MLS or the U.S., but he didn’t rule it out either. His loan will expire at the end of the season.
“Who knows?” he said. “Long-term this place will only get better. Being a part of it is a great experience. I don’t see why, somewhere down the line, I wouldn’t enjoy it.”