Life Is Life. We Need to Live It

Dealing with more than one serious illness hitting people you love and care about can be pretty traumatic at times. One is bad enough but over recent weeks the list hit harder, A brother in law with Cancer and two close friends who recently discovered siblings or a parent had it. A former player with MND and of course more in the public eye young Bradley lowery. These are all people connected in some way shape or form to my life through football. And I know there are more.

I also never forget how many people around the world face this on a daily basis.

Therefore, events like our recent SFCA day for coaches connected to our former president Sir Bobby Robson had even more effect on me. Listening to Mark Robson and seeing a video of Sir Bobby in relation to his foundation supporting Cancer Research was meaningful, talk that an actual cure for at least one form of cancer was close. We were, as well as continuing the legacy of coach education through our voluntary organisation, there raising funds for the foundation and long may that continue, at least to a point where it is no longer about finding cures because we found them all.

Impossible dream maybe?

But a dream I want to have and believe in.

On July 9th, this year I will be involved as Joint coach of a team representing my former player who was diagnosed a few years ago with another crazy and horrible disease MND possibly recognisable by you through Stephen Hawking and the movie. A game to raise funds for two guys suffering the disease who met during treatment and players and friends who played alongside and are close to them. A privilege for me to be there and another thing football can achieve, raising awareness and fundraising for these causes that need every help we can provide.

Of course, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the recent Grenfell Estate tragedy also at this time and I want to praise the work of our emergency services and all the volunteers including a former player from my Charlton WFC days Eartha Pond who has led the campaign supporting the people in an articulate and determined fashion typical of her persona and beliefs. Again, members of the Football community have played a part in helping these families. I am sure with the money involved in the game it could easily be more but there have been some pretty substantial commitments from clubs and players alike.

I really hope next month to be discussing happier times and looking forward to talking about the new season and how pre-season is greeted and seen in the WSL as well as the upcoming WOMENS EUROPEAN FINALS in the Netherlands which will be covered live by Channel 4. The home nation England are one of the favourites certainly to reach the final. The first game is on the 19th against the Auld enemy Scotland who have reached their first finals. I am sure they will fight hard but are missing some key players like Kim Little of Arsenal through injury and England will be hot favourites to win that one. My dark horses for the tournament & ones to watch are Spain, who have been developing as fast as any in the women’s game through their youth programmes.  

Enjoy and apologies for the earlier sadness but life is life and one thing I know for certain now is “WE NEED TO LIVE IT “

Kind regards


Do You Really Need to Move?

Do You Really Need to Move at Every and Any Opportunity?

Thought I would do a blog unique to the website itself as I am maybe allowed a little bit more own thoughts than on other publisher’s sites.
One of the most talked about topics at the moment is the player loyalty and behaviour attached to it.
PAYET and COSTA being two of the main talking points and the CHINA syndrome kicking into the game with the force of a Bruce Lee Movie.

Long gone are the days of one club players who could quite easily have moved on. Steve Bull Wolves, Matt Le Tissier Southampton, Scholes and Giggs are names who spring to mind. I am sure many others at various levels of the game.
But let’s face reality Money and Agents dominate the game at higher levels and its even creeping into the Women’s game now. In fact, it dipped its toe in the water way back when Fulham ladies were the first pro team.

The major contributing factor then and even more so now of course is MONEY. Years ago it was tough to blame any player for moving on if it meant financial security for their family. Even those female players that went from clubs they had grown up and developed in were offered the chance of full time training and being paid to play.

Certainly, then though 99.9% of female players played because they loved the game and of course many had to pay to play. Now at the top of women’s football annual salaries of six figures are being bounced around. Of course, that’s a weekly wage in the EPL and for sure for the guys going to China.

With China, surely it could be similar to the original and I think even current situation in the States, Certain individuals in the team earning far in excess of their team mates, that is also a fear factor in the WSL1 in England. Maybe some players are ok with that if the team is successful but is it not the team that wins a season of games. It must cause some disharmony at some point, especially if the superstars are not pulling their weight.

But going back putting the Agents personal gain to the side, how can we blame any player for not taking the money on offer? Two angles for me, if the player is already up there with the major earners, owns big houses, cars, family are more than comfortable, playing in the best leagues, Champions league, National teams and for a club where fans worship you and the club values you.

Do you really need to move at every and any opportunity?

Even if you do then do it with grace, respect and professionalism unlike the recent publicised situations if the facts are correct. Then I look at the two lads from Chelsea, Oscar and Mikel out of favour with Conte offered fortunes which may not just benefit them but maybe their families as a whole back in their home land. How much will they invest into other areas of their life. We don’t know but it would be interesting to research in the future.

Most of us can only begin to dream or imagine what it would be like to be earning a lifetimes salary in one week or month for doing what we love, but that will never change my love for the game and I am sure the vast majority of us who have played from street to parks football and coached simply because we have the passion to do so.
Hope you have enjoyed what is my personal insight at this time, and of course feel free to disagree that’s the joy of football, should never be robotic.

Yours in Football

Tough Times

Tough Times

Hmmm at 45 years old, a top English Premier League (EPL) manager can say that this may be his last club before he retires.

Nice to be so comfortable that you can say that. Me? Been told many a time that I will never retire and I when my time finally comes I would be happy to be on the field coaching.

Can’t argue with that. I love the game even in the tough times 🙂



I was asked at a recent interview, ‘How much emphasis’ do I put on ‘Statistics and Scientific data or Gut feeling’. I answered – for me there still has to be a balance.

I know I made decisions in games even recently based on data and went against my ‘Gut instincts’ and it cost me the result. Personally, I do not have major evidence to support the opposite. But, facts are facts so you have to respect them and find where they fit into your needs. Another friend in football in the EPL (English Premier League) told me the story of how they had won an away game comfortably. On the team bus all staff and some players were fixed on reviewing the statistics and not even enjoying or celebrating the win, like robots, in essence. We need to be careful not to take the football out of football or the unpredictability and magic of the game could die. YES, absolutely use analysis it is vital to help you and your players clarify and improve but both coaches and players will always at some point need to trust their ‘Gut feelings’ or the heart will leave the game.

The Top Nations

The Top Nations Should Show Respect

This argument could be said in many formats, in the womens game also, I know there was discussion on why developing countries like Estonia for example should even bother playing against the top ten for instance in major competitions.

But I agree with the San Marino FA.

The top nations should show respect for those not yet at their level, they have to understand that they are the role models for aspiring nations and their players. Because, in my experience anyway they are not likely to seek friendly internationals then in qualifying competitions is the only place the smaller countries can face their better known counterparts and in many cases heroes: The whole concept of football is that it brings people together of all shapes, sizes,  colours, gender and ability.

Those qualifying games may well be the absolute pinnacle of that countries players career, why should they be denied that any more than the superstars reaching their dreams. That goes for the coaches the support staff and everyone involved they are all entitled to at least taste those dreams. There is that much used word again RESPECT…

Impossible to Totally Relax

Gain an Exceptional Insight and Access to Coach Keith Boanas’ Experience …

Impossible to Totally Relax

Not a complaint but an absolute FACT in my experience. It is basically impossible to totally relax when you are involved as much as I am in football, the game I love.
There is always something or someone needing help, advice or just moaning about something or someone. Yes, I tried staying away from technology but then, they send stuff anyway and it piles up.

As much as you try, as soon as your eyes open the mind is on it, what, when, where, who.

I tried to explain to someone that coaches in high level roles particularly are thinking 24 hours a day and the answer was “But, you still get time to rest” Duh when is that then? Oh I know, in between the 24 hrs somewhere.

Holidays are not really holidays they are just a time to reflect and start thinking ahead. Might have to write to Dr OZ, lol, still love the game either way …