A Writer & Football Manager

The worst job in football is management. You don’t choose it, it chooses you.

I had my first hip replacement when I was twenty five, and from that moment on could not play contact sport. From the age of seven, I had lived, breathed, ate and slept football, to the detriment of everything else including my education.

I just loved playing football; I looked out onto the playing fields during lessons instead of concentrating on what the teacher was saying. In the summer we could begin a game of football at ten o’clock in the morning and not finish it until seven o’clock at night; so to be forced to stop playing football at twenty five was the worst thing that had ever happened to me.

I got asked to manage football but turned it down at first; I wanted nothing to do with football; if I could no longer play then what was the point?

I was finally talked into it. I still manage football today, I still don’t enjoy it and sometimes wonder why I continue; the older I get the more it drains me, I’m starting to think it’s become a habit and one I should break.

Being a football manager means you have to keep apart from your players, getting too close can hinder your thought process. It is, if done correctly, the loneliest job in football. You never have good days because you’re always thinking ahead; you help carry some of the baggage your players bring with them from their personal life.

You become therapist, bank manager, marriage guidance, job finder and counsellor. You give up many hours and sometimes you wonder why; well you never stop really. Then you win something and watch the players, and for a split second you get that good feeling of achievement. Maybe that’s it; trying to achieve something.

But again age catches up with you, the older you get the harder it is to bounce back. The hours put in are long, you have no times set, and you are at the beck and call of your players 24/7. So like everything in life, you have to decide when it’s time to walk away; closing in on sixty, the time is fast arriving.