Sports Letter: Wasted talent

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Sir: I am writing to express my concern at the declining standard of football in his country. I recently attended a youth team trial at a Premier League club.

We rushed straight into a game without any chance to practise properly. After the game we were told we would be sent further information. At no point did the coach give any advice to a player to help him adjust.

Coming from France I found the speed of the game quite unnerving and at no moment did any player put his foot on the ball. Most players, including myself, treated the ball as a hot potato because having the ball made us feel under tremendous pressure.

I suggest that if British clubs are going to compete with the likes of Milan and Marseille, they will have to be allowed to train youngsters from the age of nine. They must also educate players to pass the ball and, more importantly, want the ball. Otherwise we shall see a steady decline in the standard of the Premier League and we will have to resort to buying more foreign players.

If the clubs were allowed more freedom to sign youngsters we might not need the FA centres of excellence. By keeping to the same system we shall be ignoring, and not making use of, the large amount of talent available.

Yours faithfully,


Winchester, Hampshire

5 February