It’s a pipedream for millions of lads around the world – honing your football skills and getting to play professionally for some of the most iconic teams like Manchester United and Real Madrid CF. But is the dream actually possible? According to one report, 180 of 1.5 million youth footballers in the UK are likely to make it all the way to the Premier League, but who’s to say you’re not one of those 180? Below, we’ve put together some tips to help you out…
Perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give you is to be realistic. Although it can be fun to fantasize about being a professional football player and making millions a month, the truth is that it’s a truly competitive industry and there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it. It’s important to accept that the odds are stacked against you, but also have some hope and passion that it’s something you could work towards whilst also bettering yourself in other ways. Playing football makes you fitter, helps you make friends, and hones skills like teamwork, communication, and dedication, which are useful in other career avenues as well.
Have a backup plan
Although you should keep your eye on the prize and stay focused on becoming a pro football player, it’s sensible to have a backup plan. For example, it would be unwise to drop out of school just because you’re offered opportunities to play on a local level – you should aim to complete your GCSEs and A-Levels so that, if your dream career doesn’t pan out, you have other options. For example, you could become a football journalist, a coach, or even a physiotherapist. There are lots of possibilities and opportunities; keep an open mind.
Give it your all
Having said all of that, if you’re confident that you’re a cut above the rest and you’re tired of waiting for good things to happen to you, make it happen on your own. Develop a fitness and training regime that mimics that of a pro footballer like Marcus Rashford and consider joining the online football academy where you’ll get to learn how to play alongside some of the world’s most respected names. Academies are great for putting on your CV, can build your confidence and techniques, and even allow you to play on a semi-professional team.
Networking is vital
Finally, it’s important to stay committed to the game and network, network, network. Attend as many football trials as possible, take videos of your games to post on a YouTube channel, and make it your effort to be known locally and regionally. Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way and if you play your cards right, you might just get scouted for a regional team. Don’t go quiet – you need to be relentless, and good things should eventually happen.
Whatever you decide to do, we wish you the best of luck in becoming a pro football player.