Bobby Charlton Camp at Manchester United Old Trafford

Weekly Review 2nd – 8th August “Frustrated @ Bobby Charlton Camp’

09 August 2010

Bobby Charlton Camp

Hey, so this week I was in Manchester for a 7-day residential camp with the bobby charlton football camp, where such stars like David Beckham have attended. Below is a day-by-day review.

Expected much much more from the coach, a better standard of players, more seriousness. Going to ask the head organizer if it’s either possible to improve the quality somehow or get my money back.

I finished first in the skills test out of about 20 players in the group, the skills tests are compromised of four tests and the points are accumulated so at the end of the week the players with the most points goes through to a world skills final. I dribbled around 8 mannequins each about 5 metres away from each other and then back to the start line, it would be easier to explain with a diagram but the point is I got the best time in the group.

In the games we played I didn’t show great awareness or quick thinking. Need to look more around me and concentrate on where the ball is coming from, where other players are.

I got a 50/250 score on this passing skills test today where you pass four balls, each one about 10 yards away from each other into a small one metre goal about 15 yards away from the ball. I missed 3 out of 4, one of the worst, if not the worst score.

Why the fuck when I put in so much work, probably more than double than anyone here at the camp that I fuck something up as easy as that. Its pathetic.. how can something like that happen, its just ridiculous. You just devote so many hours to something and sacrificing for something else.. to get out something which is appalling! Come on.. back in January I was doing thousands of one touch passes against walls. I don’t know.. Maybe I felt the pressure knowing if I messed the test up I would ruin my chances of finishing first and going to the skills final. Wait.. pressure? I’ve been in pressuring situations playing games infront of scouts this year. Its just so frustrating! And I have failed like this so many times.

In other news, One on ones I’m just not good at, if I had this skill I think i may be a much more valuable player.

Oh and a change of attitude with the camp, starting to enjoy it now because of all the cool people here, and football wasn’t as bad so I didn’t complain.. Fitness tests tomorrow.

So we did fitness tests today. I got a time of 6:37 on the plank which beat the group record by about 50 seconds, 3rd in the balance test, 10.6 beep test indicating my running fitness is not good right now (I got 11.11 when I was 12/13 years old) 5.8 seconds in 40 yard sprint, which was one of the best in the group but not the best, could of done better but plank test made me too tired to get my form right.

BAD NEWS, I got a lower back strain in the lower left back in the evenings game from sprinting and stopping suddenly.

I Went to old trafford and it made me realize how absolutely amazing it would be just being apart of something as huge as Manchester United. Just being friends with all the players, the whole experience of being on that grass in front of tens of thousands of people with all that noise. It just makes me want it more, I said to myself that one day I will be walking out of that tunnel as a player.

Can’t do anything with this injury..

Talked to an player today who’s in his third year of playing soccer in college (I think he was on a scholarship). I am better than him and he is in the starting lineup of his college team.. it had me thinking what if I play on a scholarship in america? I think it would be such a fun experience! Anyway that’s just an option.

One of my roommates also apparently has played for Ireland youth and has been offered scholarships to American colleges, we are both the same age and I know I am just as good as him if not faster and have better passing and shooting than him. It tells me I am not far away.

Went to anfield to watch Liverpool vs fc rabotniki and heard you never walk alone. Watching pool fans singing that was on like one of the things to see before I die list. It was great, even if the stadium wasn’t full, I’d watches dozens of ynwas on youtube so yeah just to see it was great. Even one of the stewards were singing, and it just inspires me more to be playing for a club like that where the fans are so passionate.

It was a match dominated by Liverpool and I was particularly impressed with Glen Johnson, he is a right back, a position I played a few years ago. His defending wasn’t special but his attacking runs, his passing were really good and he reminds me a little of how I play. I think I have a better chance of making pro as an attacking right back. I love getting in for slide tackles and getting up to make runs down the line. Although I admit I don’t think its the most enjoyable position on the pitch, but once I make pro I can always adapt back to a right wing position, or striker etc. So the next tryout I have with a pro club I think I will do this.

I also talked to my roommate about my football who said I am so fast, but I just change direction and don’t use tricks. I don’t know whether its worth learning tricks to beat my opponents, Messi uses a simple change of direction and keeps the ball close to his feet. I have never been good at one on ones, or trying to beat opponents, so I think this is the top priority in my game ATM, beating opponents.

Didn’t do much today.. Just watched my camp members play and hung out in my room with my injured back.

5 minute jog around, 5 minute stretching, 7 v 2 one touch 15 minutes,
Imagine yourself as a wall in one touch.
Watched the most famous team in the world train today. I don’t think it would be unreasonable for me to play with them in the future. If I keep going the way I do, training and keep working on th

This morning I left the camp. It was sad leaving the guys there, they were fun.

I gotta say that if anyone thinks of going to this camp that are of a high ability, that you shouldn’t go. I think its a rip off and my other mates agree. First of all, the average standard of the players is just ok. The coaching could be alot better, for example my coach could put alot more input at times and motivate the players more for the tempo to be higher etc. He was really average. The food is the same every day, pizza, pasta and chips little variety. You have to pay yourself for going to the movies. But you do meet people from all over the world. My group came from America, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, Saudia Arabia, Iceland, Poland, India, Venesuala and more. So overall I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you just play for fun. 5.5/10.

Bobby Charlton Camp at Manchester United Old Trafford

Next Week
So I got in around 15 hours of practice this week. I was short five, for not any good reason so that means an punishment of an extra 15 hours next week 5×3 = 15. So at least 35 hours next Monday to Sunday. I am not fully recovered from this back injury, so hopefully I am ready to actually play from no later than Wednesday *cross fingers*


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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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