WHO ARE YA? Andrew Palmer, Football Consultant, mentor and coach

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1) Who are ya?

Andrew Palmer, 42 years old.

2) Who do you support?

I support Liverpool and have done since I was a child, my favourite colour being red, even though I liked Liverpool when we had a black and white TV! My dad told me stories about visiting there when he came from Jamaica. The national team I support is Jamaica as this is where my mum was born and I feel a great affiliation with the country. One day i would like to work for the federation and help create talented players and a great team from there.

3) What was your first game?

My first game playing football was for a schools football team, and we won 4-2.

I’ve also played for Nottinghamshire FA Youth U19s and also semi pro at Eastwood town. and also with Notts County YTS youth team.

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m currently running my own business as a Football Consultant where i help young players find clubs semi pro, pro, or college soccer in America. I also help with self development side of things i.e. dealing with the mental and emotional side of things such as confidence building writing CVs and mentoring. I feel that this is important as the pressures of dealing with playing etc. are so intense that problems arise both physically and mentally.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I’ve worked for Nottingham Schools FA as a coach and a committee member, working with the U11s up to the U15s for Nottingham’s representative sides. I was also the Nottinghamshire FA Youth U19s manager for 8 years, playing in the Midlands County Youth League and also the FA County Youth Cup.

I’ve been a scout for Leicester City for 10 years, and for 3 years set up and ran their first development centre in Nottingham for 8 – 12 year olds.

6) How did you get into it?

I got into coaching etc. when I started doing a FA Coaching badge as I wasn’t sure what to do at the time. I’ve got a degree in design (business) management and was unemployed for 2 years after leaving university at 27. So confidence was low… I had started a design business afterwards to get me out of unemployment but then the coaching came along and things took off from there.

7) What do you get out of it?

I’ve coached children from 5 upwards and I’ve coached young adults and adults too. I’ve coached girls and boys. I’ve worked as a tutor with hard to reach kids. I helped develop and set up Nottingham’s first Futsal team (this was a number of years before what we see now in Futsal in the UK).

I’ve worked with mentoring groups… I’ve coached dads and lads groups… I’ve coached and worked with young adults on my own knife and gun crime project [Nottingham had a bad reputation for knife and gun crime in the 90s and early 2000s – GM], so you can say that I got and continue to get a lot out of it!

I love working with and inspiring people, particularly young people. and also seeing a child go from not being able to turn their foot correctly to pass with their instep to doing it correctly.

Not only that but to teach them life experience whilst coaching too.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

I would say follow your dreams get out their try try and try again and you never know what is around the corner. It led me to being chosen to carry the Olympic torch, and someone wanted to nominate me for an MBE, which I laughed at! “Believe and you will Achieve”.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I wish I was more positive after the set back of unemployment and being down it took me a while to recover. I wasn’t 100% positive – that only came much later.

For me though, I suppose, if I hadn’t gone through depression I wouldn’t have achieved so many things.

I’ve now got a 3 year old son who is reaping the benefits of my tuition and he is already doing step overs, drag backs, dribbling, shooting and passing – crazyyyyy!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I’m not sure i would call footballers “heroes” per se but I’ve got a few footballers that I thought were great (a term used too loosely in the modern game) – Pele Maradona, Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Zidane, Kenny Dalglish, Messi, Franco Baresi, Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer.

Cheers, Andrew. More power to you.

See also thinkfootball.co.uk/archives/938

WHO ARE YA? Tom Finch, TOFFS

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1) Who are ya?
Tom Finch, 20
2) Who do you support?
The Arsenal
3) What was your first game?
Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool, 2001 FA Cup Final, 12/05/01
4) What do you do for a job?
Graphic Design / Marketing / Photography / Sew-on Numbers…A bit of everything really
5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
I haven’t, although I have played 5-a-side at The Emirates, does that count?
6) How did you get into it?
Family business
7) What do you get out of it?
I can’t… [The question was “What”, not “How”! 😉 – GM]
8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
Know your stuff! You never know when someone might ask you the score between Bolton and Sheff Wed in 1982! [16 Feb – Bolton won 1-0, 08 May – Bolton won 3-1, 07 Sep – Wednesday won 3-1 – GM]
9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
I wouldn’t change anything really…
10) Who’s your footballing hero?
Although there’s been a few players I admired growing up, such as Henry, Riquelme, Zidane, Aimar, my footballing hero has always been Dennis Bergkamp (AKA God).

WHO ARE YA? Chris Dolby, Foundation Director of Sheffield FC

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1) Who are ya?
Chris Dolby, 39 years old

2) Who do you support?
Rotherham United and Sheffield FC

3) What was your first game?
Brentford

4) What do you do for a job?
Foundation Director of the World’s First Football Club, Sheffield FC

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
Rotherham United, Bradford City, Alfreton Town, Hyde United, Staleybridge Celtic, Bradford PA and Sheffield FC.

6) How did you get into it?
Played professional football from the age of 17 then went into community coaching and academy coaching at the age of 24

7) What do you get out of it?
Total satisfaction of giving something back to the game

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
Work hard but enjoy the game!

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
I would have enjoyed the experience more!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?
Ryan Giggs

Many thanks, Chris.

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WHO ARE YA? Tom Fieldhouse, Media Executive

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1) Who are ya?

Tom Fieldhouse, 23, born and raised in Yorkshire and obsessed with football.

2) Who do you support?

Leeds United

3) What was your first game?

Pretty sure it was when I was about 4 or 5 and my dad took me and my older brother to Elland Road to watch a game. I was so young I don’t remember much other than I got bored and wanted to leave early to my brother’s dismay. We heard the ground erupt as we approached our car. Needless to say we never left early again.

Football passed me by until I was about 8 when a friend of mine’s family kindly took me to watch Uefa Cup matches against the likes of Marítimo. European nights at a packed Elland Road are hard to beat and I’ve been hooked ever since.

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m a media executive at a marketing agency in Leeds called Intermarketing Agency. I plan and buy advertising space in magazines, on TV, Radio, Online – anything really! Really enjoy it and the agency is a fantastic place to work.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Played – unless you’re counting Ripon City Panthers/Magnets U14-U18s – then sadly not.

Haven’t worked for a club but would love to work for Leeds someday. Being at a club that’s progressing very quickly (e.g Man City) would be very exciting as well so if ever an opportunity like that came up I’d find it hard to pass up – even with my Yorkshire upbringing.

6) How did you get into it?

I got into marketing because I liked the creative aspect of business, working in media came as a result as searching for a work placement as part of my degree. I didn’t have a clue what went in agencies, and would take any job available in that environment.

Luckily I landed a job I really enjoyed in an agency that was moving in the right direction.

7) What do you get out of it?

It’s great to learn more about the new developments in marketing, and how one subtle change to a marketing budget/campaign can maximise efficiency. I really enjoy being able to work on really creative ideas as well!

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Work hard and leave no stone unturned when looking for an opportunity. If you can make a process more efficient, do it and prove it works instead of waiting for permission. Most importantly though, be nice and friendly and treat everybody with the respect you’d like to receive in turn. You never know when that intern might finally get that tech startup off the ground and become the next Zuckerberg.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Tricky one… It’s got to be: have a proper crack at becoming a musician. And actually spend time practising guitar when I had the time in my teens.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

From a club perspective it’s got to Kewell. He had it all. As a left footed player Leeds had a great pair of idols for me in Harte and Kewell but Kewell’s skill was immense and his goals weren’t bad either.

Overall though, I can’t look past Henry. For me he changed the way the game was played – brought a style and flair to the pitch I’d never seen before. He optimised Wenger’s brand of football and that’s a style of football I love. It wasn’t simply about winning but winning with style and boy, did they do that.

NEAR POST: Literary Goalkeepers – Albert Camus, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle & Vladimir Nabokov

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I came across an interesting blog post today, whilst doing some research on Albert Camus and Racing Universitaire d’Alger (as you do).

Entitled ‘Writers, doctors, goalkeepers‘ and posted to the UCL SSEES Research Blog this time last year, Tim Beasley-Murray writes about the UCL German Department’s research project in the ‘medical inhumanities’, doctors who were also writers, and, more pertinently for No Standing, writers who were also goalkeepers.

Here, I quote liberally from the text of the blog:

“[The article makes] reference to the curious phenomenon of goalkeepers who are also writers (or perhaps better: writers who sometimes played in goal). Here, too, it is easy to see the grounds for this: while the rest of his team rushes about outfield, it is the goalkeeper who has the time between his sticks to think and to dream. As the Slovene-Austrian writer, Peter Handke (1942- ) suggests in his wonderfully entitled Novelle of 1970, The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (well, it sounds better in German), the solitariness of the goalkeeper has a forcefully existential dimension that can easily result in a turn to literature.

Famous figures in the tradition of writer goalkeepers include Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (Scottish, 1859-1930) who kept goal for Portsmouth Association Football Club and is the member of a very exclusive club of writers who were both physicians and goalkeepers, and, of course, Albert Camus (French, 1913-1960). Camus was goalie for the Racing Universitaire d’Alger, winning the North African Champions Cup and the North African Cup twice each in the 1930s. When asked later about his time as a goalkeeper, Camus declared proudly:

After many years during which I saw many things, what I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport and learned it in the RUA.

The Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was an excellent all-round sportsman, at times earning his living as a tennis and boxing coach and, while at Trinity, Cambridge, playing in goal for the College. (He was, of course, also a zoologist and a lepidopterist and much has been said about his particular alliance of the sciences and the humanities.) The last word, then, goes to Nabokov in his autobiographical Speak, Memory:

As with folded arms I leant against the left goalpost, I enjoyed the luxury of closing my eyes, and thus I would listen to my heart knocking and feel the blind drizzle on my face, and hear in the distance the broken sounds of the game, and think of myself as of a fabulous exotic being in an English footballer’s disguise composing my verse in a tongue nobody understood about a remote country nobody knew. Small wonder I was not very popular with my team-mates.”

Tim Beasley-Murray is Senior Lecturer in European Thought and Culture at UCL-SSEES.