Legal to print
Keepitonthedeck.com received a very interesting email this week from a disgruntled coach. In the interest of fairness, anonymity and of course avoiding a lawsuit it is impossible to include the club and coaches names in this piece. The story none the less is one worth sharing, is this sort of thing really going on nowadays. Keepitonthedeck has corrected grammar and spelling were necessary for editorial purpose.
"Hi long time follower of your page here. Wondering if you would be interested in sharing my story. Here in Ireland the system has recently changed, there is now what is regarded as Elite level for players who are regarded as advanced skills wise, it's a unique league for kids considered to be the best of the best, mainly consisting of League of Ireland clubs who team up with schoolboy clubs. I coach in the ***** *** ******** ******** ****** with a team from B level standard. Our club is small but the coaches do sensational work with the kids. We have teams at every age group up to U18 level with hundreds of kids coached weekly. Recently a team from the top tier of our league's governing body took three players from our side. There is a rule in place to stop too many players from the one team stealing our players but it is easily bypassed. The kids sign for a different club and then quickly transfer to the club they intended signing for after some time. My problem is not with the kids, they are free to go where they please and will do that regardless of our advice if their parents are behind the decision. My problem is with the so called elite coaches at these elite clubs. It's happening in Ireland for years now.... (Continued below)
"There is certain clubs and coaches from those clubs who'll speak to parents to get kids to play for their club, I know coaches who use kids to get their so called good friends to join a club, I've even seen coaches promise the parents certain things if their kids sign for their club. You are probably reading this thinking I'm making this up and it can't be true, but for anyone in Ireland around schoolboy football, they will confirm this as true. It gets worse, a few weeks back I sat down with an 'ELITE SCHOOLBOY TEAM' and heard a coach in front of my face speaking about a need to get better quality players in. This coach was speaking about an U12 team on the Southside of Dublin. If you ask this particular coach about his experience he'll talk for days and pull out all his badges and drop off a list of names that helped him become an elite coach. If he is so elite why doesn't he develop his own players and need to go find players already doing well on the development front. I'm interested to hear from coaches on your page in relation to stealing players at schoolboy level, am I the only one who finds this to be a joke"
The original message sent into Keepitonthedeck.com was a bit longer to say the least and with one or two words included that underlined the anger of the coach in question. However from what was edited above the primary reason for the message is clear, is it acceptable for coaches to poach schoolboy footballers from other clubs. Given that it's a very opinionated subject this site will offer the following opinion. At development age levels no matter the league, surely the role of the coach is to focus on the development of players within his own group. Clubs or teams 'poaching players' in this opinion are those with an eye on success. There is nothing wrong with wanting to win, but there is absolutely everything wrong with putting that ambition as a primary focus ahead of development at young age groups. Surely if the standard of coaching within a club is truly 'ELITE' then the kids with a love for the game and ambition to develop further will naturally gravitate to that environment over time, why go poaching kids????.........are we coaches or recruiters at development level. You would like to think that 'ELITE COACHES' at the younger age groups will and can improve players of all levels or ability and not just pick or choose those who have already shown signs of becoming a top talent.