Categories: General
      Date: Sep  6, 2017
     Title: A viewpoint

As the season fast approaches and the final trials are organised it is the time of year when decisions are made by parents as to which teams their sons or daughters should play. As ever the most talented players are sought by all but football academies and RTC's put undue pressure on parents to prevent their offspring playing in any other form of football.

A reality check should be made and a book written by the sportswriter of the year NO HUNGER in PARADISE should be compulsory reading for players parents and coaches. It describes the extraordinary lengths that some parents go to try and ensure that their son/daughter is one of the chosen few and Staffordshire Schools FA have permission from the author to put extracts on the website.

However as the person who posts on the website and with 47 years experience of dealing with clubs parents scouts and agents the view is somewhat jaundiced. Last year only two clubs in the premiere league were unable to record the fact that not one player from their academy set up over the previous seven or eight years had any minutes on the pitch for the first team, Stoke City and Burnley, two of the worst culprits in discouraging players from playing elsewhere.

Joe Sbarra and Ben Fox are in the Burton Albion first team squad at 18 and 19 yet played almost every minute of every county game over a three year period. Ryan Giggs played for Greater Manchester, David Beckham for Essex, Alan Shearer for Northumberland and what harm did they come to. Huddersfield and Brentford are considering closing their academies as they do not give value for money.

When your raison detre is to produce young players capable of playing at the highest level then how can an academy which has not produced one player for first team football in the past five or six years be worth the money spent on it and what monitoring goes on.

If it was a school then Ofsted would b putting the establishment into special measures.

We want our best players to have the best coaching and opportunities but not at the expense of their personal and social development and the opportunity to play with their peers.Please read the recommended book it is a real eye opener.

There will be extracts on this website in the coming weeks.