The Secret Junior Footballer Returns

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The Secret ‘Junior’ Footballer

I’m back, I’ve had a few months’ hiatus from writing as I tried to decide what I wanted this column to look like and how I wanted it to read. I decided a few weeks ago I would start contributing again and with the support of the people behind www.thejuniorsinfo.com try and raise the profile of junior football, using their site as my platform. Ultimately I’m combining two hobbies of mine and trying to give you a little insight into my thoughts and feelings throughout the course of a season, also share some stories. I have decided to remain anonymous just out of personal comfort really, at this moment in time I’m happy no one knows who’s behind the keyboard. Who knows maybe one day I’ll tell you if you care to read on….

Summer Months

So the new season is back in full swing and no doubt it’ll be exciting, thrilling and shocking in equal measure. Every manager, player and fan will have had their own expectations before the big kick off and the past few weeks would have started to outline whether this season could be a successful one. For myself and my team we have started off really well and the feeling all round is nothing but positive, we worked hard in pre-season and the first few results have shown that, unbeaten so far and long may it continue.

I always find the summer months quite stressful and exhausting, most players will spend a lot of time on the phone whether it is researching clubs, talking to managers and fellow players or looking at who’s going where by catching up on social media and fans forums. It’s a time of year I don’t particularly look forward to, the break from football leaves an empty feeling and the decision making is a part of the game I really struggle with. Even at junior level there’s a lot of work that goes into getting a deal over the line, of course Sky Sports news are never going to show up with the cameras as you meet a manager in the local coffee shop but the decision of where you want to play for the season remains a big one and can have a huge impact on your life and happiness.

Ultimately different players will make their decisions based on different factors; this summer was a real struggle for me. I had to get my next move right as I was close to quitting altogether, coming off the back of a hugely disappointing season where I had continually let myself down and blamed everyone and everything for my own failings. Ultimately I had joined a new club where I was never really comfortable leaving a club where I was happy and treated really well but had perhaps got complacent towards the end. I decided a new challenge would ignite the re-fire in my belly, instead what transpired was a season of frustration, injury and passing the buck.

Going into to this summer, I spoke to numerous clubs and managers all of whom probably felt they could get me playing well again and help me forget about the season just gone. It’s flattering when your phone rings and someone spends time giving you their sales pitch; it’s often good for the ego. I had plenty to consider, I’m a father of young child working full time in a high pressure environment on the opposite side of the country. I barely see my kid and fiancé at the best of times let alone trying to keep up a football career that hasn’t really been going anywhere. I was beginning to think maybe it was time to call it a day; really that was just the easy way out. Convince myself and any suitors I have work commitments and a young child and that’s the excuse for a poor season and the inability to perform as I had previously, I could have just been forgotten about and happily had my weekends with family and friends. It’s never that easy though….

So here I am back in the thick of it, at another new club but working with a manager I know and players who have previously been friends away from the game. After a few months of struggling with what I wanted to do I was dragged back in by the bug. I signed for my local club in the town I went to school surrounded by people I know and get along with, surely minimizing the chances of this move going wrong. I remembered the most important aspect of this game is you have to enjoy it otherwise what’s the point?

Result of the week

Wishaw Juniors F.C. 2 – 0 Cumnock Juniors F.C.

Well, what better week to come back to writing than the Scottish cup first round, my team are safely through and we are delighted to be in the hat. This week I have picked out my result of the week from the Scottish Cup first round and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a cup upset, don’t we all love it when the underdog prevails? Chris McGroarty and his Wishaw players would certainly have been delighted after seeing off McBookie.com Super Premier Division side Cumnock at The Beltane, 2 leagues separate the clubs but a 2-0 win for Wishaw on the day sees them into the next round. A major disappointment for Cumnock, a club who would have been aiming to get to the latter stages of the competition no doubt.

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed it and as always any feedback or questions are welcome at thesecretjuniorfootballer@gmail.com.

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