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football forum

Young are collateral damage in the search for the next big thing

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Interesting read here. About one of the the biggest issues I have with elite youth football development. I think clubs have made a lot of progress since the introduction of the EPPP in this area, but unfortunately not for the right reasons. Too many are doing it to make their 'package' more attractive rather than because of an interest to provide oppurtunity for these kids.

As an aside, if you haven't already they check out Calvin's books. Good reads.

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There are two sides to every story. Not all kids will take it the same way, look at the multiple stories of players drifting all the way out to non-league football and then making it back into the professional game.

Football isn't alone in the world of 'broken dreams', it's far more of a widespread social issue that people don't have a safety net to fall back on.

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On 6/3/2017 at 7:53 AM, ScoRoss said:

Football isn't alone in the world of 'broken dreams', it's far more of a widespread social issue that people don't have a safety net to fall back on.

It is, but this is not just about providing support for those that don't make it. It is also about how children are treated in the process. Players being kept around just because it is perceived that they will help a group of better players develop. Sibling being registered because a club wants to register/retain their brother. The list is lengthy.

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We've just gone through a whole change in the academy system in Scotland, which as a result has seen Falkirk decided to withdraw their support to their local academy system. Which, as a result, has seen players from their under 12s to under 18s suddenly without any club. I think it's at least good to see the focus is now on both sides of the future of young football players, rather than the media asking why players weren't coming through. At least with football, there will always be a lower level for them to fall back upon (even if not professional).

Part of the problem, as shown in the clip, is the attitude of the parents as well. They have to keep their kid having a 'normal' childhood as possible and not gambling their kid's entire future on then making it as a footballer. I've seen people almost give up on their education because they've signed professionally at 16/17, only to be released before they even turn 20. Then suddenly they have to spend their time redoing their education. I've seen clubs that have all their young professionals doing college courses part-time to 'show' that they are taking care of their players but, in reality, they are not exactly taking the most useful of courses but ones that they know they will pass and can use it as a selling point to the next batch of young players signing up.

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