This book is essentially about the other side of football – instead of the usual, standard biography about a successful and famous player, this tells the true story of what it is like to be one of the many, many thousands who pass through the system but don’t make the grade and suffer a variety of consequences – but it is all told in a very positive way. The aim of the book is to educate the young players (and their parents) in the system today about the realities of life in football and in general but without killing their ambition.
The original idea was to write a book that Mike could use to give something back to his parents as a way of saying thank you for all of the sacrifices they made over the years. However, the more people Mike and Keith met and spoke to about the book, especially players, former players and the PFA officials, it became apparent that this HAD to be done and taken very seriously.
Having spent so many years playing for and coaching young players at Liverpool FC, Mike became more and more aware of the need for somebody to tell the story of what life is like for all of these young kids who dream about and try to make a career in football. It is usually a story of tremendous excitement mixed with horrible disappointment, and lots of hard work and sacrifice for the young lads as well as their parents. And for every one player who does manage to make it to the top, there are many thousands more who have to cope with the heartbreak of failure, something which Mike has personally experienced.
Instead of the typical biography of the successful and famous footballer, ‘Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Me’ tells the story of what it is like when you work your socks off for years and try to make your dreams come true – only to be told at the last hurdle: “Sorry son, you’re not good enough”. The best way to tell that story is to use Mike’s own life as an example.
The whole football world knows the names Owen and Gerrard, but who on earth is “Me”? The reality is that the “Me” in the title could be anybody; not just Mike Yates, but any one of the many thousands who have tried to make it as a footballer but failed. And that is the whole point of the book – to tell the other side of the footballer story.
The book provides examples and comparisons around modern day scholars/players/systems to the YTS and old reserve league. It gives an insight into what young players and their parents can expect when entering the football world, it highlights how difficult the journey is in reality and the importance of a strong mentality…. if you don’t make it and even if you do!
While the book is based around Liverpool FC, it definitely has cross-over appeal for the general football supporter or anybody interested in the education and development of boys to men.
23.5 x 16 cm
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