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Posted 11/16/2020 in Category 1 by DAVID CHARLTON

08 Academy Football, Professional Football, Injuries and Early Retirement

Brendan Pearson was a talented goalkeeper who progressed through Newcastle United’s academy system, signing professional terms. He went on to play for the club’s under 23’s and had spells on loan where he played for Gateshead F.C. He also spent time between the posts for South Shields and Greenock Morton in Scotland. Sadly, during Brendan’s short career he spent a lot of time injured which then meant that he retired at the age of 23 years old. 

In this episode, David and Brendan discussed the challenges of academy football as a goalkeeper, turning professional, loan moves and some difficulties that you may have to overcome. He also bravely talks about his injury problems and how his sad, early retirement from professional football came about. The episode is full of advice for young players, parents and coaches who invest time with young footballers. 

Essential Learning Points From This Episode 

• Why self-belief is important in academy football. 

• The mindset required to play top teams in youth football such as Ajax, AC Milan, Manchester United, Benfica… 

• Seeing challenges as an opportunity. 

• Keeping a balanced perspective towards how you define “pressure.” 

• Nerves are natural when you make your debut, when you play in big stadiums with large crowds as a youngster. 

• The importance of supporting and praising your team-mates. 

• Don’t let a bad training session before a match knock your confidence. 

• How to impress new coaches and managers. 

• The difficulties of adjusting to different playing styles when you’re loaned out after experiencing academy football. 

• Dealing with differences of opinion between you the player and managers. 

• How to cope after making errors as a goalkeeper. 

• The way you handle criticism will make or break you as a goalkeeper. 

• Brendan shares advice for players who suffer long-term injuries.

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