Millions of children dream of being the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but the reality is that only a tiny percentage will ever make it pro in football.
As an American soccer dad who once lived in London, I found this documentary interesting because it uncovers many of the harsh truths about academy soccer in the UK.
During our weekly podcast, The Inside Scoop we learn about youth soccer around the world from the perspective of parents, players, and coaches. As such, I wanted to share this in-depth documentary with our readers to give a more detailed and behind-the-scenes perspective.
How Do You feel about These So-called ‘Football Factories’?
‘One of a Number’ delves into the sacrifices that kids as young as seven are being asked to make in order to pursue the dream of becoming a professional footballer.
I finished this documentary with more questions than answers. Personally, I don’t think it’s intrinsically wrong to offer academy opportunities to a select group of children.
However, I do think there is a significant risk of emotional and psychological damage resulting from the pressure of competitive football and eventual rejection from an opportunity that the children have spent their lives pursuing.
Therefore, clubs and the FA must do more to protect children who are involved in academy football at such a young age.
I would love to hear your thoughts?