The FootballCV April Trials had a funny as hell coach, a nice bunch of players from all sorts of countries, situated in one middle of nowhere place and all with the same goal: To become a professional footballer. Trainings were great and I got an insight into how professional life as a footballer would be like with two a days and all the other stuff that comes with it. On the day I arrived, I wrote to myself: “I can’t wait to show my talent and show all these guys who the boss is”. Six days later in a trials match in front of top scouts, I said: “I was one of the worst players on the pitch.. That was one of the worst games I’ve ever played”. In the last few days I’ve considered if I still can make it as a footballer, If I am willing to put in the hard work, If I just should just lower my standards. In the end only one person stood in my way.
Every day I typed down on my iPhone what I learnt about myself and what I learnt about football
I’m at the camp now, a bit nervous meeting all the guys. But now I’m settled and can’t wait to show my talent and show all these guys who the boss is. It’s apparently gonna be a week which will be exhausting with two a days. But by the end of the week I’ll be a better player and will miss the place.
– Shooting from outside box was good, but not when I hit it first time rolling.
– One touch passing was appalling! Big downside.
– Did well, if not the best in the mornings game, gave some great long balls.
I do have a good chance of being the outstanding player of the camp.
Rushden and Diamonds Physio Talk Notes:
– I should make a recovery plan so injury is prevented and training continues at full pace.
– Do what feels right for you, stretching, eating, sleeping, etc.
– You can really eat anything you want after games and trainings especially, as long as you eat and stay hydrated.
– ONE TOUCH PASS again appalling, BIGGEST let down and ruined alot of things. Biggest weakness!
– One on one finishing really good and improvement seen.
The 1 on 1 secret – if there’s space where he is leading u, than attack it. But going on the weak side of the defender is what will put em off balance and u get a shot on or pass.
Talk from Andy Sinton – ex England international Notes:
– Never regret. It’s in the past now.
– You need desire, Ability, belief, dedication and mental strength. Football is alot more than just ability. If you don’t have one of those attributes, you won’t be a pro footballer.
– Your career can change very unexpectedly and quickly.
– If you get rejected, and have the attitude that: this will make me stronger and I’ll show that guy. Then you will succeed.
SICK! Was not able to train. Probably due to some raw potato the night before.
Life as a professional footballer talk, from Aston Villa member of staff:
– Academy players are paid 110 pounds a week spending money. 4x that for a youth that’s signed pro.
– Players are given a two or three year deal. Those with two year deals, have to prove that they deserve a place for the third year.
– Every 3 months, players sit down and review with coach. They set targets for themselves for next 3 months in, technical, physical, tactical and mental development.
– Players live with host families.
– They are required to do some education.
– If you want to be a pro footballer you need to do two basic things. Control the ball and pass. Robbie Savage great example of this.Everything else is a bonus.
– Coaches agree on good players having the three A’s. Ability, Attitude and Application (applying knowledge and training set ups to game)
– You only need to be really good at two or three things to be a pro footballer. Fix weaknesses but concentrate on strengths.
– Ball control was ok
– I was mentally tired
– Passing was off
– One touch pass again off.
– First touch was good
The best players take mental pictures inside their heads every 10-15 seconds so when they receive the ball they know exactly what their doing, instead of recieving, looking up and then getting the ball taken off em in those crucial seconds.
– It was one of the worst games I’ve played.
– I lost possession of the ball at least 7-8 times in 60 minutes.
– Players said I need to be much louder.
– Indecision! I didn’t know what to do when I had the ball.
– A lack of confidence in whole camp, showed in game.
I was fairly devastated after the game. I had trained so much in the weeks before, I knew for sure that no player there had trained more than me in the last month. I had to cry a little after, all the energy and work put in football didn’t even matter as I was one of the worst players on the pitch in front of eight scouts from top clubs like Liverpool, West Ham, Ipswich Town, etc. On the same day I was given an evaluation sheet which gave areas of my game on a scale of 1 – 4. 1 being excellent, 4 needing improvement. I got mostly 3’s and 4’s. It was shock, I was shit and rubbish in a pile. I could tell the coach didn’t have much faith in my ability, he rated me as one of his no hope players. At the end of it all, I was given no player awards, no thumbs up and a pitfall in my confidence. After thinking the last few days on the future of my career, I doubted it. “Maybe I’ll just play football for fun” I thought. But then I realised, for one to achieve great success and reach goals, they must go through setbacks and failures. This is one of them. Finding reasons to explain why the week turned bad could go on forever. For example most players were older than me, 18, 19, 20 even 23! That didn’t matter though, I was still as good as them. But the coach summarised my week in two words. Self belief. In hindsight I see it now. From the first day I was there, the whole group played a game of street football. I didn’t like taking players on, I thought if I lose the ball other players will judge me as a shit player. In trainings, I was nervous and un-confident because in the back of my mind, Danny could potentially give me a place in the FootballCV academy so if I screwed up he would just rate me as shit. I didn’t want the ball every time, I hid a little. I didn’t have as good relationship with the coach and players as I could have. I had nothing to lose, but all to gain and that got to me. I didn’t have full belief in my ability. I wasn’t confident. And ultimately, my thinking had an effect on the sort of player I “thought” I was. My thinking was that of a bad player. The result.. I was shit.