“If you keep doing what you always did you will keeping getting what you always got”

The trial’s for team selections for the SAP/Komodo/Divisional squads commenced a few weeks ago and they have been well attended by current players at the  club and players from outside of the club.

I have done my very best to explain to parents not to place pressure on their kids and I have explained to players that I will place them in teams that they are best suited to in an effort to ensure that they firstly enjoy playing the game, and secondly to ensure that they develop their skills at their own pace.

As Technical Director I have a responsibility, along with our coaches to improve our teams’ each and every season. This means that we are obliged to select the best talent available at the trials.

It is always difficult being tactful to parents who call me and lobby for their son/daughter to be selected. They tell me:

  1. If my son/daughter is dropped from last seasons team he/she will be humiliated if their friends made the team and they did not.
  1. My kid has been at the Hawks for years so I expect that he is selected ahead of an “Outsider”
  1. Why did you select players before the full four trial sessions are complete. Its not fair my kid was not feeling well in the first two trials!

And on, and on it goes.

I can only be so tactful in responding to questions and observations by and from parents, but the bottom line is that its no point asking why your son/daughter was not selected in the team you wanted them in. The fact is that your child was not deemed as good as the others. I really do not know how I can explain that any better.

“What does my son have to improve upon to make the squad” The response will always be one or more of the following:

  1. Attitude; 2. Skill; 3. Fitness; 4. Talent; 5. Coachability; and  6. Determination. 

I can assure you all that my coaches and I do NOT want to leave out any exceptional

players and at SAP / Komodo / QPL levels it is not about players playing alongside their mates. If your son/daughter wants to play with their mates and their mates want to play with them we have lower divisional teams that they can play in. I say this because even amongst “Mates” just because the less talented player wants to play alongside his/her mates does not mean that the reverse applies.

I would like to think that no parent would want their child playing out of their depth just so that they can tell others that their child plays in SAP or QPL.

As to the duration of trials experienced coaches can often recognise immediately when a player trials for a team that is beyond their ability. No amount of trials will make an average player into a super star in a couple of hours.

The reverse applies in that a talented player will often stand out and it would be astute of the coach to select that player sooner rather than later.

Then there are those players that have other qualities and its up to the selectors to identify players and when there are 50 plus players attending a trial to select 16 players it is not easy.

The players already at the club will be known to selectors and therefore it becomes a question of,  Is the new player better that the current player?

I find it very difficult to comprehend how there are those whose son/daughter were involved in a team that struggled the previous season and despite that fail to understand that it is the Technical Directors job to place players in teams best suited to improve a player’s skill level and not set up players and teams for failure.

As a father and grand father I too always want what is best for my offspring but i also realise that it must never be about my ego it  must ALWAYS be about what is best for the player and how their selection contributes to team dynamics and balance.

Children and young men must develop resilience and accept from an early age that football reflects life on many fronts. Dealing with disappointments, being punctual,  working in a team environment where ones actions and/or inactions affect others, being tolerant of others, and having a work ethic that reflects the mindset that the harder one works the luckier one gets.

I forewarn parents and players that not every player who attended the trials will be selected where they expected to be selected.  If the question asked is:”Why did my son/daughter not get selected” you can expect a tactful response such as,

“ He/she was very close and it was a difficult decision but I am sure he/she will be in contention again next year”


A blunt  response, “Sorry but there were players ahead of your son/daughter”

I PROMISE you all that I will not fail to select talented players. I can only hope to ever come across 18 super stars vying for 16 spots. That is a problem every coach welcomes.

If last season your son/daughter’s  team struggled in their respective competition you can hardly expect me to expose them to situations beyond their capabilities.

I dream of the day when I can please everyone but I promise to continue to try.