‘The Insider’ writes for Football in Bracknell every month from the point of view of someone who has played the game and experienced the ups and downs of a season in non league football on the pitch.
The Insider column will be published on the last Thursday of every month. Previous columns are available here
August is approaching the end and already, the moaners are out in force. WhatsApp groups are full of players who aren’t playing moaning, private messages are being flung about and on the bench people are more annoyed about not playing than thinking about how they can change the game when they come on.
It happens every year that people in August move clubs for a number of reasons. This month’s article is an open message to those players who have been on the bench for a few games and have sensed the urge to try and force a move to another club.
This article is simply going to make you question a few things before you ask your manager for the dreaded 7 dayer.
Have you fought for your place?
Firstly, you need to question, have you actually fought for your place yet? And if you haven’t, what entitles you not to fight for your place in the team? It is still August (just), and the season is very long.
Just because you may think you are better than the current players, does not give you the divine right to start.
Ask yourself, have you done enough to warrant a starting place with your attitude and commitment? If the answer is honestly no, then I suggest you change this before asking for move. The grass is not always greener on the other side as several players will know, and often end up back at the club they originally left.
Secondly, have you actually spoken to your manager face to face? Too many players these days hide behind their phones when it comes to serious conversation. Or even worse, discuss it unprofessionally with other players. The reality is, there is a reason your manager signed you, and a conversation face to face might iron out a few issues you may have.
It may be a tactical issue, it may be other people are performing well. Either way, hiding behind a text and not confronting the issue won’t help you.
Thirdly, consider whether the new club you’re looking at is actually going to be any different? Are you likely to walk into the team without any questions asked? The reality is when you move you go back to square one. If you’re leaving your club because you don’t want to fight for your place, the chances are you’re going to have at your new one. Evaluate your options first.
The reason for questioning these is because on social media over the last month there are so many players moaning about being on the bench.
Don’t get wrong, there are legitimate reasons for moving clubs for example, travel distance too far following promotion, or having a young family.
However, if you’ve got the time to commit to training and matches on a Saturday, you have time to commit to getting the in team.
Managers have a thankless task, and their commitment shouldn’t be faulted, but if you’re seeking a move due to a lack of commitment and not starting, it won’t be your first move this season.
At non league level, people often forget that football is in fact a team game and not an individual game.
Too many players feel they’re entitled to 90 minutes because of who they once were, or once played for.
Commitment and a good attitude to learn go a lot further than any Blue Square team training top from your under 18 days.
The Insider is a look in to the semi professional game from the players point of view. Look out for a new column on the last Thursday of every month. Got a question? Ask via our Contribute page.