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#1 Nisan 19, 6:05 am
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Tony McCool has worked in all aspects of football over two decades. He was one of the pioneers in performance analysis software, Matt Wieters Womens Jersey coached at Luton Town’s consistently productive academy before moving to Queens Park Rangers, and scouted first-team opposition for MK Dons. Now, in addition to youth development work for Norwich City, he supervises in-school activities programmes.

His concern is authentic, vivid. It requires courage to express it in such terms, because the majority of those in youth development prefer to provide private confirmation of the troubling trickle-down effect of the cynicism and brutality of first team football, rather than raise their heads above the parapet. Careers can be undermined by candour. Power is a potential pollutant at whatever level it is administered.

“Honestly, the stuff I’ve seen in academies. Coaches can be vile with the kids, because they think they’ve got to kiss someone’s arse. I’ve sat in meetings with them, when they discuss the development of the five Cs in a player – confidence, commitment, control, concentration, communication.

“They’ve got their head down like the school swot, writing furiously in their notebook. They walk down the stairs, and nobody’s around now. Andrew Adams Authentic Jersey They see a player and they’re like, ‘Oi, what are you doing? That’s rubbish.’ I said to this one guy “you should read what you just wrote down. The way you are talking to that child is horrendous.’”

His voice breaks, in a mixture of incredulity, sadness and contempt. McCool is at pains to stress his respect for the vast majority of his peers yet, emotionally, the dam has burst. Bad experiences manifest themselves, like muggers emerging from a heavily-shadowed alleyway. Another episode, on a tour to Belgium, looms large.

“It made me think ‘what the fuck am I doing? I don’t want to be part of this.’ It was heart-breaking.

There was a lad, coming up to 16, a left-back. It had been deemed that he wasn’t going to be signed as a scholar, but I go into these things thinking that every day is a new day and that he might do something that will change their minds.


“We’d spent weeks and weeks and weeks with the club philosophy of playing out from the back. This lad receives the ball from the goalkeeper about five minutes into the game, chops inside, and looks to play a diagonal pass into centre-midfield. We’re playing a Dutch team, who close down, press. They work hard and they’re psychologically powerful, physically strong.


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