Weekly Review 9th – 15th January 2012

15 January 2012

So I was just chilling in my room on Monday afternoon when I got a text from Moses. The text read “Call me it’s urgent.” I called half expecting some good news and my gut feeling was true! Moses said there’s a team in the Hungarian second division who can give you a trial but  you would have to be there from tomorrow. So of course I said yes and off we went! The team is called Szigetszentmiklos and their currently 8/12 in the league, it’s about a 30 min drive from Budapest. Their squads average age is high and most players are in their late 20’s. There are only two guys in the squad that are under 20 and that’s this 18 year old guy who’s on a free contract and a nineteen year old guy (who literally looks like his 28) who plays for the Hungary u/19’s.

So it was a pretty interesting week! I rocked up to training on Tuesday not knowing what to expect. It’s the least nervous I’ve ever been before a trial and I just went there and did my thing. So as I was getting changed in the dressing room, I met these two guys and amazingly an Aussie was there! His name was Sam and he just turned 20 years old. As I got to know him through the week I found out he played in the Queensland state league in Australia (getting paid $300 per week) and was at Brisbane Roar youth (best team in the a-league youth) for 10 weeks. He was there for so long because the squad was already winning every match. Sam is a striker and played for the FootballCV academy in England. I’ve been to at least 4 or 5 FootballCV events so it’s a pretty big coincidence, or Football is just a small world! He told me he had a trial with a few conference clubs in England and could of been playing professionally there, but since he is only entitled for an Australian Visa and couldn’t get a work permit to the UK so it was kind of a waste of time for him. Sam was in a few European countries on trial and got an offer to play in Denmark, but for free and no salary.

Another guy called Indy was there. Indy is Indian but has grown up in England all his life. He’s 24 and played for Bradford City in their youth system. He got on the bench for the first team, but never really broke through and has since played for Chester in the conference, in the US on a scholarship, India, and now Belgium in the fifth division.

As the week went on, I found out more about the other players that were there. Many of the players there had played in the first division in their past and some for big teams aswell such as Ujpest and Ferencvaros. One player (the captain) played against David Beckham! Picture is on the left. The manager also played for Hungary scoring two goals against Italy and for Ferencvaros. The technical director of the club was the ex national team coach of Hungary and is president of the Hungarian football federation. He also appears on Hungarian TV for match analysis.

It’s amazing to me that I’m actually playing with full-time professional players, tackling, dribbling them, passing, crossing with pros! The fact that I’ve reached this level now is an massive step for me and I don’t think it’s kicked in for me yet.. I mean two years ago I was just dreaming of doing this sort of thing.

The days progressed in the trial I had my good days and bad days but the majority were decent. I was for sure more relaxed and less worried than I was in the past about what was happening, probably because I had two English speaking guys that I got on well with there with me.

Judgement day came on Saturday against a third division team. Me and Sam were brought in to play for 60 minutes. I didn’t play my best game, but I didn’t play my worst game. I had at least two good chances to score and I fucked both of them up. Here’s the feedback I received from the technical director.
Pros:
– Vision is good
– Passing is good
– Technically good
– Reading of the game is good
– Fast, quick
– Accurate crossing
Cons:
– Strength (got pushed off the ball too easily)
– Need to be more aggressive
– One on ones poor

What the club were looking for is someone who could come into the starting 11 and I would start on the bench. According to the director, he says I need to play somewhere where I get as much playing time as possible to nurture and develop. So these cons were unfortunately what made this trial a fail. But this is not really a fail because there was alot that came out of this. The director could recommend me to Budaörs who are also in the second division and need some attacking players and I could once again play and compete with professional players. I played below my potential in this trial and if I was 110% fit it probably would of been a different story.

So how did I feel? Well I thought that the pace wasn’t the quickest and given time there, even just training, I could become one of the standout players of the team.

Comparing myself to Sam, he’s a great guy so it’s not personal but I did better than him. So if he’s been potentially offered things in the English conference, trialing in a-league youth for 10 weeks, and he’s about a year and a half older than me then I should be more than capable to get the same type of offers!

Other news, Chris hasn’t bothered to contact me at all about anything and I basically finished my UCAS app although I have to sort one more thing out with it next week.

UPDATE (24/1): Looking back on the trial I could of had better sleep by not being on the computer so much, eaten better and prepared mentally. Just three things to get off my mind and not make the same mistakes for the next trial.

Next Week

So as I was on trial and I’ve had to move around, pack, stay at a friends house. Won’t leave Budapest until the 18th. Next week I’ll be traveling internationally and I’ll be in London so completing the 26 hours I was supposed to do this week wouldn’t be completed with the best of quality. So I did 15 hours this week and then it’s back to 15 hours for next week.

 Pro Football Trials

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In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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