“I didn’t really care too much for school because I was always like: ‘I’m gonna be a footballer”

An articulate piece from Elias Burke for the Athletic UK. Here Elias portrays potential difficulties faced by released academy footballers. With input from a former player, Liverpool FC’s head of player care, and ourselves. Here’s a snippet, with a link to the full story below. Each year, hundreds of young football players are offered a full-time… Read more »

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Deselection research in partnership with Solent University

Please view our research presentation slides in partnership with Southampton Solent University delivered at the BASES (British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences) 2021 student conference. Some excellent findings that football clubs and researchers might find useful from an extensive qualitative investigation of players experiences of deselection at Scholarship stage. A video recording and the… Read more »

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So, Hugo what’s Player Care?

There is a new ‘player’ in the support and development of the modern footballer, welcome to the team ‘Player Care’. Among the now ingrained and accepted players like technical coaches, sport scientists, analysts, nutritionists, conditioning coaches, physiotherapists, and educational & welfare officers, we find player care staff building its reputation, and their relevance.  I interviewed… Read more »

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Career transition for the young footballer; words of encouragement

A career change for any footballer is inevitable. The time will come when you are unable to earn a living playing the game you love. For the younger professional or the scholar failing to earn their first contract, transition is often sudden and involuntary. Deselection at this stage of the footballing journey often leaves only… Read more »

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Succeeding in life after deselection from football

Andreas Robinson is a product of the much-heralded Southampton Football Club Academy. Having joined as an 8-year-old boy his entire adolescence was immersed in the Southampton Academy environment before deselection at 21. We know adolescence is a critical period of growth and development in which we acquire the skills, attitudes, and behaviours that provide the… Read more »

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Lessons from Liverpool FC

In a series entitled ‘inside the academy’ this blog reflects on the experience and insight gained from visiting professional football clubs and discussing pastoral care for players past, and present. Liverpool FC are the first to feature. Accepting an invitation from Michael Edwards (Sporting Director), the gates to their new purpose built training facility in… Read more »

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Life education- the Southampton way

“Southampton Football Club, over a period of time became a lot more than just a football club to me, they allowed me to do things I didn’t believe possible, meet incredible people and live my dream. But more importantly I made friendships with people for life, felt cared about and welcomed which as a 14-year… Read more »

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The released footballer – gone but not forgotten.

Ian Herding is arguably the most important person at Southampton Football Club you’ve probably never heard of. But to all released academy players he is the go to man. Lost in a mass of dedicated Academy staff befitting the now world renowned Category 1 Academy at their magnificent Staplewood base, the Performance Education and Life… Read more »

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We win our first Award

At the start of the year we had the extreme pleasure of attending community radio station Unity 101’s celebratory awards evening hosted at The Grand Harbour Hotel. We took our place among more than 300 guests including volunteers from the station, as well as partners from the private, public and voluntary sectors, and thoroughly enjoyed… Read more »

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“Nothing grabs you like football”. Realities of the unemployed footballer.

At 26 years of age and 7 years after his release from then League One Side AFC Bournemouth, former professional footballer Alex Parsons has finally found a new career as a personal trainer. In a candid interview for the Football Family website, Alex speaks of untold truths in his struggle with uncertainty, depression, anxiety and lack of motivation for anything other than football. Chance encounters, true friendships, and a rekindling romance with the game serve as evidence that with time, support and strength there is work and life after football.

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