I don't want this to be taken the wrong way, as most people do interpret things on this forum and I don't want a club v county or club v college row. I know how organised and well run the college programme is, the experience and qualifications that the coaches and educators hold; the opportunities and skills that the students gain from it.
However, as a coach/assistant manager at an amateur football club, who spends a limited amount of time with the players, I still have an obligation to look out for my players and safeguard their health and wellbeing, be it mentally or physically. I take great pride in doing my best for others, I am probably better and more concerned about looking after others, than looking after myself and I am sure that the 1000's of people that I have assisted/helped over the years in and out of work would agree.
I have been fortunate to have undertaken multiple qualifications and gained some invaluable experience, in and out of work or sport, which has enabled me to identify those in need and to support them wherever possible. On a football front this has included fitness programmes, coaching, nutritional advice or even a simple chat. I have also spent time in the past watching college sports programmes and attending professional football academies with a family member, who assesses them for the FA, as well as making friends and spending time quizzing them at their academies, around subjects like strength and conditioning, nutrition and mental health support.
All of this does not make me an expert, nor does it make me more qualified than anybody else. It does however give me some good knowledge and an understanding of what players go through and the stresses/expectations placed upon them. We as a club (St Day) will do all that we can to support and remove any stressors that may affect our players, and would never put any pressure on anybody to play recreational sport/football, or choose one team/opportunity over another. So, I do not expect those with far superior experience and qualifications at college, to place undue pressure on any youngster to pick them over their club, or say that they will be dropped from the college team, if they choose to play in a match at their club a day or two before the college plays. If a player wants to play 5 times a week then it is their prerogative, then the coaches can monitor them and keep a close eye on them for signs of burnout, mental or physical fatigue etc. And I would do the same, looking out for my players, be they a 17 year old college athlete or 30 year old working 8-10 hours a day on a busy building site.
No more replies from me. Take care guys, see you on the pitch.