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Offline palos

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Love this article....To go Pro or not
« on: October 25, 2009, 11:31:56 PM »
To Go Or Not To Go Pro
Written by Dominic Christopher
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 03:59


SOURCE: TNTTIMES.COM

Not a new debate but especially relevant in these times IMO.



For large numbers of fifth formers who receive their CXC results, the choice usually lies between repeating the year or starting sixth form. For two of the countryís top young footballers another option presented itself: Go pro.

This year, Jerrel Britto and Shahdon Winchester, the national Under-17 skipper and vice-captain respectively, became first team members of their respective Pro League clubs, San Juan Jabloteh and W Connection. For this pair of teenagers, considered two of the brightest talents in their age group, many felt it was the right move.

For these young men, the timing could not have been better. The international spotlight beckoned when their clubs qualified for the Concacaf Championís League (CCL), affording them a chance to play in the Confederationís premier club championship. They seemed to grab the chance with both hands.

Prior to the start of the new academic year in September, Winchester notched a start in Connectionís away game to Honduran club Real EspaŮa while grabbing four goals in the Pro League. Britto for his part was regularly used as a substitute for Jabloteh, including in two CCL fixtures before the new school year began.

Then came the choice, return to school or remain a professional player.

Continue Reading...
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 12:35:25 AM by E-man »
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Offline ZANDOLIE

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 12:59:15 AM »
Good article, it was high time this was addressed. Wint is a good player, the only defender that could manners the Latin Americans right thru in CONCACAF qualifying. Props to MaComie for running him and Molino out right thru the season.  Under the right tech staff this next U-20 will go further than the last. But they need heavy  friggin discipline in the back. Adams and Bateau within the age group so hope not lost
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Offline fishs

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 01:13:44 AM »


 Really a tough choice for the kids and parents to make.
The kid's talented and is in love with the game but also has ability academically, the issues would be if he chooses to leave school early and pursue a pro career.

1. Will I get a contract eventually that will fullfill my lifetime needs ?
2. Will I still enjoy playing football after 10yrs ?
3. One bad injury and it could be all over for me.
4. Will I be stuck inTT playing football for $ 5000.00 to $ 10,000.00 per mth ?

The upside as various commentators expressed is that he will improve as a player , he will as a result become a better product

Staying in school and getting subjects etc. (these days all you need is CXC and a good SAT score)
This will take 1 max 2 yrs more but you would have another option in life if the 4 points above pan out.

Really the child is what matters and I tell you if he does not want to continue school but pursue the football , then so be it . The parents should take up the mantle and do some succession planing for the kid.
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Offline just cool

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 02:42:05 AM »


 Really a tough choice for the kids and parents to make.
The kid's talented and is in love with the game but also has ability academically, the issues would be if he chooses to leave school early and pursue a pro career.

1. Will I get a contract eventually that will fullfill my lifetime needs ?
2. Will I still enjoy playing football after 10yrs ?
3. One bad injury and it could be all over for me.
4. Will I be stuck inTT playing football for $ 5000.00 to $ 10,000.00 per mth ?

The upside as various commentators expressed is that he will improve as a player , he will as a result become a better product

Staying in school and getting subjects etc. (these days all you need is CXC and a good SAT score)
This will take 1 max 2 yrs more but you would have another option in life if the 4 points above pan out.

Really the child is what matters and I tell you if he does not want to continue school but pursue the football , then so be it . The parents should take up the mantle and do some succession planing for the kid.
Like you forgetting it have courses on line?  alot of ppl are aquiring online degrees, it's like the norm for busy hard working ppl and professional athletes who wants tuh finish their education. i think , and don't quote me, i think vince carter did it as well.
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Offline Arimaman

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2009, 08:47:26 AM »
I thought it was a good article too.....I think they are right...if all you really want to do is play pro ball then why not turn pro in high school...forget A levels, forget scholarships and chase your dreams.  On the flip side if you possibly want the chance at both, then by all means get educated, get a scholarship then turn pro......
I think the first option is for really talented prospects or can't miss prospects.  This is true because odds are you're going to make it on the pro level.  But if you are not a can't miss prospect and choose the pro route and it don't work out...then figure you'll be working public works or some other small wok for the rest of your life....Your choice really!!!!
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Offline KND2

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 08:59:57 AM »
We focusing on the wrong problem.
The problem is why the pro league is not a big enough draw to make this discussion irrelevant.

The SSFL have fans and the pro league has non, that is a bigger problem than who decides to play where.

If national players like britto are playing in SSFL and actually getting worse then coaching guidance both at Jabloteh and at the school is to balme.

In this type of situation where you have a man amoung boys he should leave with a high level of confidence and performance.

Perfect example of a place to work on weaknesses in a less competitive environment.

How many goals can you score with the left foot etc.

Offline Bakes

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2009, 09:50:50 AM »
Like you forgetting it have courses on line?  alot of ppl are aquiring online degrees, it's like the norm for busy hard working ppl and professional athletes who wants tuh finish their education. i think , and don't quote me, i think vince carter did it as well.

Different situation altogether.... Vince Carter a) at least had his high school degree and two years of college when he left, so his fall back was into a much safer net.  Say nothing of the fact that even before he signed his professional contract his business was set.  Nike had already signed him to a big contract, plus based on research by his agent he knew exactly how much money he was looking at (based on draft projections) if he left school.

These yutes leaving without even CXC passes in hopes that they will get a contract somewhere.  They have nothing to fall back on if dey buss.  I dunno, maybe UWI have some program where they could get the equivalent of a secondary school education (like a GED) as a precursor to University, where at least it would be free.  But unless they could go back and finish school later I don't see this as a gamble worth taking.  And parents shouldn't be leaving it up to a bunch of naive and impressionable 16-year olds to decide whether they want to finish school... most with any confidence in dey ability (misplaced as it might be) will opt to bypass school.

Offline weary1969

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2009, 10:44:04 AM »
If after 5 yrs u eh get yuh CXC u tink stayin in school 1 more yr mean dey goin 2 get it? I say go Pro and invest yuh lil money and hope 4 d best. D school suppose 2 have mechanism to help dem students so that when dey leave d have dey 5 cxc. Let d old boys help out wit extra classes etc.
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Offline palos

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2009, 12:21:36 PM »
At 16, a youth doh have much say in whether he get to stay in school or turn Pro.

That decision still lies with the parents.

Most parents I know would be unwilling to let their child concentrate on football at that age without having their "passes" as a back up.  I cyah blame dem for that mentality either although "passes" doh really guarantee yuh anyting anyway.

One player say it too.  He say man went USA where dey supposed to get an education and come back and get a bank wuk, which is still perceived to be a "good job".  But dat good job" eh really sayin much for that player and plenty youths.

The reality is, if you harbor hopes of being a professional football player, you have to be in a professional football environment from early o'clock.  The earlier, the better.  But is not for EVERYBODY.  There's a lot of sacrifice where that is concerned.  It's all well and good for the Pro League to say the standard of football is better (it better well be) but have little or no academic structure and resources in place to address that area. 

The ideal scenario would be a partnership between the Colleges and Secondary Schools and the Pro League whereby players who are truly interested in embarking on a Pro career could play with their Pro League clubs and have their academic needs tended to by the schools.  There are satellite courses taking place all over the world.  Players could attend a secondary school nearby at a particular time daily.  There are lots that can be done.  It needs the WILL & resources to make it happen.  Alas, I fear that the WILL if not the resources is lacking.

KND is right as well.  The Pro League needs to work desperately on it's marketing.  What exactly is the lure of the Pro League?  The recognition and peripheral rewards that derive from playing in the SSFL, no matter how superficial they might be perceived by some to be, are an important motivator.  Similarly, the lack of crowds and general apathy to the Pro League by the media and public is a demotivator.

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Offline real madness

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2009, 12:52:28 PM »
Isn't Winchester playing for Naps this season?  So technically he choose both going pro and playing in the SSFL.  I thought the SSFL had a rule that players can't play club football during the SSFL season.

Offline elan

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2009, 01:29:09 PM »
If you in high school and your big decision is whether to stay in school or go local pro, then that local pro eh nothing to be leaving school for.
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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 01:35:45 PM »
If you in high school and your big decision is whether to stay in school or go local pro, then that local pro eh nothing to be leaving school for.


ent but some ppl prefer local pro versus US degree

Offline palos

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 01:45:33 PM »
If you in high school and your big decision is whether to stay in school or go local pro, then that local pro eh nothing to be leaving school for.


Based on?
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Offline weary1969

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 02:34:31 PM »
If you in high school and your big decision is whether to stay in school or go local pro, then that local pro eh nothing to be leaving school for.


Based on?

Waitin on an answer as well.
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Offline kicker

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2009, 03:20:15 PM »
Bigger the risk, bigger the potential swing in fortune (upswing or down)...

Education serves to calculate the risk and thus potentially lessens the size of the swing of fortune (both up and down) as far as football goes.

So it all depends on the how risk averse the individual is- that will vary from person to person. 

In the modern age of less than traditional/conventional means of being "schooled", I think it's more possible to both have your cake & eat it...just takes a higher level and broader degree of commitment...and possibly some creative resourcefulness. 
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 03:25:36 PM by kicker »
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Offline real madness

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2009, 04:27:42 PM »
Bigger the risk, bigger the potential swing in fortune (upswing or down)...

Education serves to calculate the risk and thus potentially lessens the size of the swing of fortune (both up and down) as far as football goes.

So it all depends on the how risk averse the individual is- that will vary from person to person. 

In the modern age of less than traditional/conventional means of being "schooled", I think it's more possible to both have your cake & eat it...just takes a higher level and broader degree of commitment...and possibly some creative resourcefulness. 


You are right, it all about high risk is equal to high reward if it works out or little or no reward if it fails.

You can play if safe, do 6th form and get US scholarship and decrease your chances of a professional career.

You can take the risk, play in the pro league and hope you get spotted by an agent.

At the end of the day it is the player's choice and not ours.


Offline GODFATHER

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2009, 05:22:02 PM »
I am sure Shahdon Winchester will go pro once intercol is over. He didn't do well in school so has no chance of getting a school scholarship. His only option now is to go pro with Connection and hope for a foreign contract.

It's a tough choice for these kids and their famalies. There is a story going around of a player from south who got his subjects and offered a scholarshi[p but had signed a pro contract with a local team there by cancelling his college schol. Just bad advise some of them are getting.

My opinion is unless you have some serious foreign interest in you coming out of school further your education and forget about the PFL. Continue your football career in college and keep your options open for an overseas contract (like Shaka Hislop). If that does not work out for you you have an education you can come back to Trini and play ball and have somereal employment options open after you retire from the game.

I have not seen much in Shahdon Winchester's game so far to suggest that he will make it outside of Trinidad and I wonder what he will do after his football life is over.

Offline Jay10

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2009, 06:13:58 PM »
How many local players et foreign contracts out of the PFL every year?

Average salary in the PFL is about $3000 ( could be as low as $1500-$2000). How many clubs are able to pay their players on time each month (or even pay them at all?) not all...

What insurance overage does the Pro League have?

Not saying that these youths dont have a bright future in ball, but what about the others who dont get the break? What are they gonna do?




Offline soccerman

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2009, 07:19:21 PM »
I see both sides of the argument but this is an area that whoever is identifying such potential with 15-16 year old players have to be very careful because their future is at stake and if they really HAVE the potential to play at the highest level that's the prime age for their development. Now these clubs in Euorpe and south America for example provides an education for these players so I think the local pro clubs along with the league should pay close attention to this and ensure that these players still earn an education i.e. private schooling. Although this is against the norm in T&T, this is the age where the future professionals are moulded but again, it's NOT for everyone and top scouts have to determine who has what it takes to really make it at the next level.

Offline Storeboy

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2009, 07:42:15 PM »
In the absence of a good football academy or developmental program by the Trinidad and Tobago Pro League, it is imperative that each player get at the least a hoigh school education.  First option should be to get at least the CXC passes.  However, in the TT educational system, not every youth will succeed.  It is a decision that may be different for each player and his family.  There is no cookie cutter solution.  Some players need to go back to school.  Some players need to leave and go play TT Pro League, and some may find it more valuable to go to the US on an athletic scholarship, while some may chose England  and a University education.  We cannot sit on this forum and make decisions for every person.  And don't forget that as talented as they all are, only a small minority will ever make it as a bona fide professional player.
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Offline diamondtrim

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2009, 08:59:13 PM »

I have not seen much in Shahdon Winchester's game so far to suggest that he will make it outside of Trinidad and I wonder what he will do after his football life is over.

And don't forget that as talented as they all are, only a small minority will ever make it as a bona fide professional player.

More than salient points.

Firstly, and correct me if I am wrong, it appears that 'going pro' (locally), for some of these youngsters, is quite the aspiration. While I am aware that many of them may view this as a stepping stone to future things, I'm afraid that alot , if not all, of these youngsters need more than a healthy dose of reality.

Seemingly above average players, relative to their colleagues of course, in an already admitted poor competition, choose to go pro in an already admitted poor competition (anyone see the pattern here?), and we wonder why our football is devoid of more Latapys and Yorkes.

SSFL glorifies mediocrity and the youths, being youths, soak it all in and think that going pro locally at first will automatically be the precursor to a big money foreign contract.

If they were half as talented as they thought, a foreign pro contract would be beckoning even before they get a chance to finish school. So if the choice is to go pro (locally) or stay in school (university), then by the very virtue of having to make that choice a decision should be made to stay in school.

The US college system has enough exposure that, if the player is good enough, will allow him the benefit of being recognised. MLS is a much more structured league and will develop a player a lot more than the local pro league.

Going pro locally means a salary of 2-4k per mth (if they're lucky). Is that what our youths aspire to? You can get more as a stipend on a full schol.

The quotes are particularly resonating.

Offline Trinimassive

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2009, 09:59:28 PM »
The BIGGEST difference between the two is that you could go back to school at ANY age even 50 yrs old but if you want to be a professional football player you have to start at an early age. Time literally is money

The US have grown as a football nation and they don't even consider looking at the US College system anymore. It's amateur period. And to come out of a system loike that at around 24 years of age and just starting your professional career when you have to compete with 18 year old players who been playing professional is asking a lot for a club to invest in that 24 year old.

Start your professional career as soon as possible if it doesn't work out you could always go back to school and get a diploma, certificate, or degree.

Offline Bakes

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2009, 10:50:45 PM »
The BIGGEST difference between the two is that you could go back to school at ANY age even 50 yrs old...

Start your professional career as soon as possible if it doesn't work out you could always go back to school and get a diploma, certificate, or degree.

Does this apply to Trinidad?

I think that's the part of the analysis that might be missing from the discussion.  Maybe it does... I don't know.

Offline Trinimassive

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2009, 11:11:37 PM »
The BIGGEST difference between the two is that you could go back to school at ANY age even 50 yrs old...

Start your professional career as soon as possible if it doesn't work out you could always go back to school and get a diploma, certificate, or degree.

Does this apply to Trinidad?

I think that's the part of the analysis that might be missing from the discussion.  Maybe it does... I don't know.

For the most part I think it applies to T&T also. 

Now if yuh head hard like ah coconut yuh could still go back to school when you're done or finished trying to make it "big" in professional football. You may not become an engineer but you could start ah plumming business, construction, or something that you might be good at that may be less challenging. Oh even stay in football, coaching, referee, management, PE teacher.

There are options that do not have a "sell by" date even if imiginary that professional football has.  If you believe your good enough give it your all because in a career like that starting a professional career as a 20 something is really difficult.  If you're average then you could get your degree but don't lose sleep waiting for a big offer because there's just too many other countries like in Africa, South and Central America, Europe that by 18 years old many youngsters are breaking into 1st teams while we have players just getting started too far behind professionally.

Offline Arimaman

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2009, 06:32:07 AM »
The BIGGEST difference between the two is that you could go back to school at ANY age even 50 yrs old but if you want to be a professional football player you have to start at an early age. Time literally is money

The US have grown as a football nation and they don't even consider looking at the US College system anymore. It's amateur period. And to come out of a system loike that at around 24 years of age and just starting your professional career when you have to compete with 18 year old players who been playing professional is asking a lot for a club to invest in that 24 year old.

Start your professional career as soon as possible if it doesn't work out you could always go back to school and get a diploma, certificate, or degree.

True to some degree.  If you go back and look at what Julius James said when he got drafted, he basically indicated the reason for him dropping in the draft had to do with the Generation Adidas kids or former project 40.  This encourages early entry from the college and these kids do no count against the salary cap.  However, with that said not many of the kids jump straight from High School straight to the MLS.  The vast majority head to "college" prior to doing so.  Now, it may be as little as 1 or 2 years in college.  What we don't realize is most of these kids play in the PDL in summer and are on some serious ODP/Regional teams that play very good competition when not in school.  Kids in the US stay in HS until they are 18 not 15 and 16 like we do.  Plus add an additional 1 or 2 years in college and they are 20 or 21....that's a vast difference from 15 or 16. 

I cannot agree with a kid turning pro at 15 or 16 unless he is a can't miss prospect.
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Offline Sando

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2009, 06:49:44 AM »
Once these players head don't swell, they will do good.

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2009, 08:22:40 AM »
I cannot agree with a kid turning pro at 15 or 16 unless he is a can't miss prospect.

Was Jason Scotland a can't miss prospect?

Conversely, how many people thought that a young Clint Marcelle was a can't miss prospect?

I'll tell you what though.  In today's football, if you ANY good and hope to play at the highest level, if you DON'T go abroad from a VERY EARLY AGE like 15 or 16 in a professional environment, you might as well apply fuh dat bank wuk one time.

To illustrate, let's see how many of our U20's that played in the recent world cup get foreign professional contracts.
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Offline Arimaman

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2009, 09:07:45 AM »
I cannot agree with a kid turning pro at 15 or 16 unless he is a can't miss prospect.

Was Jason Scotland a can't miss prospect?

Conversely, how many people thought that a young Clint Marcelle was a can't miss prospect?

I'll tell you what though.  In today's football, if you ANY good and hope to play at the highest level, if you DON'T go abroad from a VERY EARLY AGE like 15 or 16 in a professional environment, you might as well apply fuh dat bank wuk one time.

To illustrate, let's see how many of our U20's that played in the recent world cup get foreign professional contracts.

Agreed.....going abroad is key....Playing pro football in trinidad is what I was really refering to....To have your son give up other opportunities to play pro football in trini at 15 or 16...good luck.

To reference your Clint Marcelle situation, probably if he did turn pro in a professionally structured environment he would have been more successful.  With regards to Jason Scotland, fact is some players mature at a later age...
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Offline elan

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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2009, 10:09:14 AM »
The BIGGEST difference between the two is that you could go back to school at ANY age even 50 yrs old but if you want to be a professional football player you have to start at an early age. Time literally is money

The US have grown as a football nation and they don't even consider looking at the US College system anymore. It's amateur period. And to come out of a system loike that at around 24 years of age and just starting your professional career when you have to compete with 18 year old players who been playing professional is asking a lot for a club to invest in that 24 year old.

Start your professional career as soon as possible if it doesn't work out you could always go back to school and get a diploma, certificate, or degree.

True to some degree.  If you go back and look at what Julius James said when he got drafted, he basically indicated the reason for him dropping in the draft had to do with the Generation Adidas kids or former project 40.  This encourages early entry from the college and these kids do no count against the salary cap.  However, with that said not many of the kids jump straight from High School straight to the MLS.  The vast majority head to "college" prior to doing so.  Now, it may be as little as 1 or 2 years in college.  What we don't realize is most of these kids play in the PDL in summer and are on some serious ODP/Regional teams that play very good competition when not in school.  Kids in the US stay in HS until they are 18 not 15 and 16 like we do.  Plus add an additional 1 or 2 years in college and they are 20 or 21....that's a vast difference from 15 or 16. 

I cannot agree with a kid turning pro at 15 or 16 unless he is a can't miss prospect.

You have to remember too, that in the US the better player don't play in high school. They play club soccer where they have qualified coaches working with them. These young players are exposed to coaches who (the coaches) are far more qualified than coaches coaching in our PFL.
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Re: Love this article....To go Pro or not
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2009, 10:34:21 AM »
You have to remember too, that in the US the better player don't play in high school. They play club soccer where they have qualified coaches working with them. These young players are exposed to coaches who (the coaches) are far more qualified than coaches coaching in our PFL.

And de PFL coaches far more qualified dan most SSFL coaches who only coach for 6 weeks on average.
Carlos "The Rolls Royce" Edwards

 

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