A Letter to Football Scholars II

It’s a daunting prospect for a lot of scholars that have to move away at the tender age of 16, as they live in digs provided by their clubs – but it also provides a platform of independence that is key to coming of age.

After finally completing my GCSE’s, it was time to move on, something I had dreamt of all my life. The pure ecstasy of moving away to play football was incomprehensible – I was one of the lucky teenagers.

It was a swift turn around from my last exam in the middle of June, to moving in with my team to start pre-season at the end of June. There wasn’t any time for me to join my mates abroad in one of the Spanish or Greek party islands, it was straight to work.

And just as brief as those three paragraphs, two-years have come to an end and like a click-of-a-finger you have either been ousted or offered a pro-contract.

The gym and boot room were empty and polished to perfection, glistening as the lights shone down on the walls and weights. The two were free of empty bottles, boots and pads – the relentless pain and joy between the walls were now a distant memory. The laughter and camaraderie that had previously echoed throughout the building had disappeared along with the occasional banter that was taken too far and broke out into a scuffle.

Those memories are what moulded us as people, but now it was our time to go, we were incapable of meeting the performance levels required, for the coming months some ruminated a little over what the game had done for us and how close we had come to our dreams – there is no use in looking back, it is time to look forward.

In the manager’s office our names were once listed on the whiteboard, each player listed in their corresponding positions. A source of pride to see your name belonging to a unit, a family or a team. The names belonging to goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders or attackers were wiped away, unfortunately, the coaches had already been preparing for your exit a long time ago – there was no time for sentiment for them as they contemplated who their next crop of scholars would be.

Don’t worry life doesn’t end now, in fact, it is only just the beginning, there are and will be tougher times ahead, instead of being upset and melancholy, look ahead, this is just the beginning – no regrets. 


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