Dan “Bugsy” Owens
SHARP IS THE WAY
This week we consider the future of the football pyramid; how to stop top-flight football representing the very pinnacle of the game. It seems most administrators have stopped worrying about next season’s league placings and are no longer focussing on pathways into lower divisions. The influence of the Premier League has eroded all previous systems and altogether encourage mediocrity. Football is the soul of communities, it represents the lifeblood of local businesses and provides major work opportunities for many. Clubs from all walks of life rise and fall. Most rarely survive. The criteria for promotion has shifted.
Right guard on the Boundary Line
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT SYSTEM YOU HAVE
The more I go along the ‘Coe & Warner pathway’ thinking, the more I’m appalled and fed up with the result. Sport is an inexact science and it’s all about personal standards. There are no rules; you do what works for you and what you enjoy doing. The key to success is that you find something you’re good at. Sport is great because it’s unique and meets an individual’s needs on a small scale. I think the FA’s system doesn’t matter. It’s all about finding something you love and what’s important in the end is how you make the moment count.
DESIGNATE THE DYNASTY CHAMPION
Trust the players if they can’t recognise the best pathways are by grassroots development. It needs to be someone to promote the programmes for them. Hire successful individuals, people who you think can best take the country forward. With the right people it’s a hidden form of movement. You’re not going to a destination where things are lining up, you’re going there to create new pathologies and inspire people to do something for themselves. Get people from the outside involved to encourage development. It can’t just be coaches and administrators. The administrators need to shake things up if we’re to have any hope of keeping it exciting.
A PATH TO SUCCESS
I think it’s great if football is raising standards in the FA. But there should be more apprenticeships and more apprentice places to give young lads a perspective of where the game is going. There has to be a proper pathway to where a player reaches the Premier League, and there needs to be a main rule to hold clubs to account for not investing in long-term careers, like us doing now with football coaches. Employers are quite reluctant to invest in staff for the long term, which isn’t right. I think it would be nice if there was to be a development league to show lads the best way to build their football in the UK.