Today I feel is an opportunity to speak from the view point of a footballer and the many frustrations they go through.
As you’ll know football is something I’ve been taking part in for as long I can remember. To get to where I am now as a football apprentice from the grassroots level has not been easy.
Setbacks like being seen as a player with little potential at just 14, trying to find a new club and having to start from scratch rebuilding a positive reputation.
Small things such as general spells under performing and losing confidence in yourself can be a major let down and a hard obstacle to overcome if you want to move up the football ladder. I guess that’s the same for football as it is for life, there will always be obstacles.
Although I am a long way from making it as far as I want to in the game, this opportunity I have at the moment at Derby County has most certainly not been gifted to me, it is something I have had to work hard for and in addition to that I know almost every other apprentice and professional that has ever been involved in the game would describe their journey from the bottom to their peak level as no joyride either.
Football is a cruel sport, not in the sense of the debated “excessive economic rewards” or the “fancy lifestyle” with the nice cars and houses that the top players get; this seems to be the main angle in which footballers are looked at nowadays.
But what a lot of these people don’t realise is the hard work, dedication, discipline and most of all sacrifice behind the scenes that performers at a high standard put in to have even the slightest chance of being the best they can be.
Admitted a few characters have shown a great lack of dedication and heart in the game, maybe being in the limelight at the top level causes the arrogance and a more unprofessional personality, yet without dedication and desire, these players wouldn’t be where they are in the first place.
In some ways these characters have let the game down by creating a stereotype for the footballers who you don’t see in the newspapers and the majority who behave with integrity because as a matter of fact footballers have to put their blood, sweat and tears into the beautiful game to make it to the top.
Having the ability is not enough. This dedication could be as little as staying out after training to practice your weaker foot or making sure you’re on time and punctual for everything you do because even that mentality to do the smaller things right are what a true professional requires. This is something I have learned from being around the game for a while and also my own experiences at all the levels I have been at.
All frustrations aside I have had a very exciting experience lately with a call up to Scotland U18 and a trip to their first training camp in England. The camp took place over 2 days on the 12th and 13th of November at Champneys springs health resort in Ashby.
The first day consisted of us all meeting up and having a sharp training session on the fantastic site facilities, alongside a cool down in the swimming pool and tasty catering that the hotel provided us with.
The players involved ranged from birth years of 1995 to 1997, myself being a 1996 birthday. The next day after some breakfast we gathered and held a full 11v11 game amongst ourselves
This was great to be a part of and an amazing experience with a great bunch of lads from all over the country. Overall I feel privileged to have been spotted and hope for another call up to play some proper fixtures very soon.