Great Players born or created
Having read the article on the future of the English game and Football guru Simon Cliffords opinions on the not so beautiful game, and his long term plan to turn the fortune of the national game around I decided to find out more.
So the part that interested me was if great sportsmen can be created or is it really a god given gift?
So when I found out that Simon Clifford had also had this debate, and from that humble beginings that the pre school Socatots programme had been developed I had to find out more, so off I went and talked to the people who run Socatots in Walsall.
Whilst they were at pains to explain Socatots is about more than just soccer, it was very much the soccer side that fansinated me. So as a pre school activity, thats from toddlers to five for those that don't know (well I didn't) produce kids with any skills? Well the answers seems to be yes any child that can do Ronaldo step overs and pass the ball with both feet and shoot with both feet at five seems to my untrained eye to have the basics.
In fact a story doing the rounds in socatots circles is of club scouts hanging around groups to try and find the next big player. In fact one top flight scout was reportedly on the end of a bit of a put down from one such five year old, only the way children can, When the scout asked which foot the child kicked with he was met by a worried expression, so the poor scout tried again which foot left or right he asked. By now fed up with this adults stupidity he answers 'both silly'. The idea that anyone could only kick with one foot hadn't crossed the mind of this five year old. This in the way sums up the ethos of football in the socatots way, anything is possible.
In truth only time will tell if Socatots will produce Englands next golden generation, but what it is producing is kids who love the game and would rather play than sit in front of the tv. So what if they don't become the next David Beckham, due to the emphasis on colours numbers and social skills they seem to fly at school when they get there...so perhaps we might just get another Sir Alf Ramsey on the way! To see for yourself click here