Series 1 Cast Interviews
Phillip Bretherton

Phillip Bretherton

Plays
Stefan Hauser

"Stefan is German and he's one of those cerebral managers, like Arsene Wenger. He's not the exuberant kind of Big Ron manager, he's the thinking man's manager... a European manager. He keeps himself to himself, he's not an emotional guy, but he can blow his top when required.

"The footballers respect him. But he's not the kind of guy that they can necessarily identify with. Most of them are exuberant young men and he's probably a bit too school-masterly for them.

"I think he is prepared to give his captain Jason Turner the benefit of the doubt. Because the team's quite young it needs a strong, more experienced centre and Jason provides that strength, but their relationship is deteriorating. Jason seems to think that normal training sessions are beneath him, and so it's becoming increasingly difficult for Stefan to maintain discipline.

"I've joined in the training sessions on set a few times. I start out doing the warm-up exercises. I thought if I hadn't been to the gym that day then I could assuage the guilt. But when it came to the harder physical stuff, there's a lot of difference in being 46 and being these guys, the average age is about 21... I didn't want to show myself up!

"When I met the producers for Footballers' Wives, I was wearing my glasses, and Sven [Goran Eriksson] of course had them, so I don't know if that was a little trigger. I think in a crude sort of way glasses, or the particular ones I wear, say 'German'! They say in that cliched way, 'intelligent'.

"I follow football, but not in any serious way. I'm from Preston, which is a great footballing town, but the fortunes of the team have been a bit up and down. That's who I support if push comes to shove. People keep asking me whether I like football, but when I played a doctor in Casualty, nobody said 'So, do you like medicine?' You just hope you can act being enthusiastic about it.

"I was in As Time Goes By from the start whereas when I joined Casualty, you know the house style, the kind of show you're going into. It's nice to be involved in something new like Footballers' Wives. It's a new experience, which I think is very exciting."