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Bursting the Specialisation Myth

Paul Grech Friday, September 14, 2012 , ,
There is something terribly saddening in the way fans tend to talk of young players at their clubs.  The finality with which verdicts are delivered, and their brutality, is often of an incredible harshness especially considering that it involves individuals who are still in their teens.  It leaves you in no doubt that even at this level most fans see that success as the only objective.  Anything else is rubbish.

What is even worse is that some clubs act in the same manner.  Education delivered to the players is minimal with little care being given to whether enough attention is being given.  There is little empathy when players are released or an attempt to help them sort their future.  All that matters is whether that player will make it at the club and, if not, whether he is good enough to be sold on to someone else.  That is what defines success for them.

Yet that shouldn’t be the case says Dr. Martin Toms, Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham.  “It is my firm belief that we should measure success not by the number of kids who make it to a high level from the club, but that it should be done on a basis of legacy and enthusiasm.”

“The best argument for success is around numbers of kids from all levels who want to be involved, have fun and play the game, so the best indication of success is that these kids are involved the next year.”

“Clubs (at whatever level) have a moral obligation to act as safe, nurturing environments for all levels, talent and participation.”

Read the rest of the interview with Dr Martin Toms over at Blueprint for Football.


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Copyright 2010 Paul Grech: Writer