Athletic Footballers and why Predicting Talent is so Difficult

It’s just over one year since our blog “Why Doesn’t Scotland Perform Better at Football?”, and whilst I am the first to admit that the National team has turned the ship in the right direction, and are moving forward with a motivated, tactically competent manager, and a group of talented players, it is still apparent from last nights 3-1 loss to England that we just don’t have the horsepower to compete with the top teams internationally!

After the match Mr Strachan described the England squad as a team of Champions league players, and how right he was! On countless occasions the England players out-sprinted, out-jumped, out-muscled, and out-powered us. Players such as Oxlade-Chamberlaine, Wellbeck, Barkley, and Cahill are all athletic, and powerful.  As long as this physical gulf remains, then I’m afraid that competing with teams such as England will be difficult.

What was nice to see however, was the emergence of the Hull City left back Andrew Robertson. I’ll be the first to admit that my heads been in the sand with this young player. In fact, the last time I saw Andrew was when I worked at Celtic FC in the youth academy with him! Like many boys of his age in pro-youth football he was released at the time, most likely deemed not good enough to become a professional player at Celtic, and to the best of my knowledge was never to return to football. Please note that this is not a direct criticism of Celtic Football Club, or any other teams youth academy program for that matter. These programs only have space for a limited number of bodies, players are released who may in time blossom, as it is often impossible to predict future talent.

How pleasant it was for me then to recognise his face in last nights line up! On doing some research on his bio, it seems that he has made the difficult journey from pro-youth to an international football, after playing successfully at Queens Park, Dundee United and then moving in a six figure transfer to Hull City. Like many before him, the Andy Robertson story is another example that current performance is no indicator for future potential, and that identifying ‘talent’ at a young age is almost impossible. It is also a remarkably motivating story, and encapsulates entirely the reasons behind why we established Elite Sporting Performance in the first instance – to help players maximise their potential, so that talent is not wasted.

In a nutshell our aspiring professional football program is the perfect answer to the challenges that I have discussed. Essentially we turn players into powerful, fast, agile and explosive athletes. Moreover we inspire our athletes, and re-assure them that it doesn’t matter where you are playing at the moment. Instead, what is more important, is to have the desire and motivation to work harder than everyone else, to never give up, and to drive forward past the inevitable set-backs towards your ultimate goal.

If you are a young footballer between the ages of 13, and 23, and you are serious about wanting to become a professional footballer, or improve your football performance then please contact us at or call me on 07795271319 to find out more.



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