Posted: June 07th 2015

When I was 13, my mate Nicky and me

were sent to Swansea Schoolboys trials.


This was for the Under 15’s even

though we were only Under 14’s.


Our Teacher in charge of Football at

School, Byron Grey must have

thought it was worth a shot for us.


It was all last minute.


He told us on the day of the trials.


We walked down from Cefn Hengoed

School in Winch Wen to the Morfa pitches

on our own.


The pitches were where the Liberty

Stadium is now.


We got there.

Put our boots on and just played.


We had a great time.


It was an adventure.


No expectations.


No ‘Pep Talks’ needed from parents.


No nerves. Just excitement.


Just went out and PLAYED.


And we both PLAYED WELL.


Both got picked for the U15’s, a year above.

It’s a happy memory for me.


I just went out and did what I did best.


I was a play-maker.


Liked to get on the ball and make things



My game was making other people playing



I’d share the ball with everyone.


One and two touches.


So I was not a threat to the older boys.


They loved me because I would give

them the ball if they were in a good position.


And the game just flowed like that.


Getting it, giving it. Getting

it, giving it.


Talking, advising. Telling 'e where to go



It was me at my best…


Completely in the moment.

No thoughts of the consequences of

‘getting in’ or not.


I just PLAYED.


And LOVED it.


I just felt like a higher level of 'normal'.


Every day we would play for hours and



We wouldn’t get nervous playing in the

Yard at school.

I had all the basic skills in place.


All I could do was go out and offer the

best of what I had.


And that’s what I was able to do on that



Imagine if YOUR son could approach

trials that way…


A lot of kids in our country forget to

‘play’ in ‘big games’…


They forget their love for the game.


They forget that Football is their passion.


They let it become ‘work’


This reminds me of an observation made

by a British Fitness Coach called Roger



Roger spent many years working abroad

in countries like Brazil and Portugal.


In the UK we talk about ‘working hard’.


In Brazil he said they talk about ‘playing



Everything is ‘PLAY’ in Brazil.


If he's got a trial coming up this week. Just

tell him...


Go and PLAY!

PS - Here's  article I wrote a while back
called 'How To get Picked at Trials'