In previous blogs we have touched on the unpredictability of football and the many peaks and troughs endured by players, fans and agents alike. We have also discussed the competitive nature of the game and the difficulty for young players to break into the professional arena. One such player was the young Spanish player who after spells at the youth academies of three well known European clubs found his way to England and as with most of our clients, was recommended by other footballers and eventually signed to our agency.
After two frenetic weeks of contacting clubs, managers and players, a trial was confirmed at a Championship club. As we neared the training ground on his first day of training, the lively and energetic teenager suddenly became uncharacteristically taciturn. This was a worrying sign.
Now, we all know that the dressing room can be the best of places. A place for banter and excitement before the game, and the scene of jubilation and celebration after the game. However, it can also be a terrifying place. Add to that a language barrier and it was easy to see why the young Spaniard was feeling the heat. The ferocious intensity of the English training ground was a new experience for the player and a real eye opener into the competitive nature of youth football for us.
As the week went on, a number of agents started sniffing around and some real interest was generated. After a Saturday morning fixture where a number of top flight scouts came to watch the boy, we nervously sat watching the phone waiting for feedback. When the feedback eventually came, despite the ultimately disappointing fact that no Premier League trials were offered, the professionalism of every scout and coach involved was remarkable. With their help we were able to draw up a comprehensive training plan for the young player. This includes a month long ‘boot camp’ back in Spain including three hours of English each day. The aim is that he can work on his fitness, iron out the flaws in his game and develop his English in order to turn him into a more attractive proposition for English clubs. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and like anything in life, you get out what you put in, so it’s back to work for the young midfielder.
Whilst he is doing his work, we must do ours and the race is on to find more trials with the hope that he will return to the UK with the same force and determination shown by his countrymen in the Spanish Armada of 1588. Let’s just hope that this time; the Spanish come out on top!