Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Life after Football

As I get towards the middle/end of my career I have started to realise more and more how important it will be for me to be ready to move into 'the real world' and have a career path for the rest of my life. It is a common stereotype that footballers are all stupid, have no qualifications and would be no use in a working environment. Well, luckily for my I got a degree before I started football (I don't talk about it much) so that at least gives me something to fall back on. I am not naive enough however to think that I would just walk into a job as soon as I need to. I have started looking and planning out what I want to do, and with this blogging going on, other writing possibilities and my love of most sports it seems like something I should try and get into.
I am not claiming to be a great writer or have a fantastic vocabulary, but I am sure that is something that can be learned and practiced like everything else. I do have a passion for sport, a very good knowledge and grasp of a variety of sports, and hopefully from my football background I have some contacts that could come in handy (It's not what you do, it's who you know).

Something else that I am looking into is coaching. I don't know if I want to be a coach or a manager but I do think I have a decent understanding of the game and have picked up a lot of good ideas throughout my career. I think to be a successful coach would be hugely rewarding and to become a manager, although it would be stressful, would be a nice responsibility to have and is something I can look into. One problem however is the sheer volume of players and ex players who go down this route, so finding a job once you are qualified wouldn't be easy, but... it is who you know, a familiar theme.

With so many young players turning full time it is obvious they don't have any qualifications, and the biggest problem is that every single player thinks that they will make a living and a career out of football. Admittedly more and more youngsters are getting chances in first teams, but that doesn't mean they are making a lot of money that will support them if they live away from home, it just means they are getting good experience. This will hopefully help them move on, but not all of them will be able to, and it is at this point they will realise how difficult it is with no qualifications.
The PFA does help put them through highers and further education courses, but often they won't be taken seriously and therefore they aren't passed.


Scottish fans break the bar after beating England at Wembley in 1977
For anyone that is not a football fan, or has not being paying any attention to international football, Scotland play England this week at Wembley in a 'friendly'. Personally, for whatever reason, I am not that excited about it. I think perhaps the years of abject performances at Hampden have left me a bit of sick of Scotland. I don't really have a club team, so Scotland is the only team I really support (unless someone else plays England), therefore I usually go to Hampden for all the home games in qualifiers and some friendlies. Unfortunately since I started going there has been a distinct lack of good results which is leaving me a bit disillusioned with the team. There have been some great nights,  they have mostly ended in glorious failures, but some have been great wins and both wins and failures stick in the memory. The highlights for me include:
  • Beating Netherlands 1-0 in 2003 (Lets not mention the return leg)
  • Beating France 1-0 in 2006 (then repeating the feat away)
  • Losing 2-1 to Italy in 2007 (glorious failure 1)
  • Losing 3-2 to Spain in 2010 (glorious failure 2)
  • When Iwelumo missed (below) against Norway in 2008, I called the headline 'Iwel Oh No' in the next mornings paper, a personal highlight.  

 It would be great to beat England, purely for the bragging rights, but the reality is we haven't qualified for a tournament since 1998, we are already unable to qualify for Brazil 2014, and the way the team looks, it could be a long time before we get close to qualifying for another one. Not since England beat us 2-1 on aggregate to qualify for euro 2000 in the playoffs have we genuinely come close, and it has been a downward spiral from there. Hopefully in my lifetime it happens, but the future doesn't look too bright, especially the way the club game in the country is heading.


1 comment:

  1. David ive been reading ur blog with great interest and was wondring if you think u could do a job for the glasgow rangersl. I would like to hear your thoughts on that as you have gained plenty of experience in the sfl over the years and could be just what they need. Have you had and contract offers for the coming season to date. Cmon scotland hope we at least do ourselves proud