All photographs courtesy of Raman Paul
You recently became a consultant at DRN Sport. What does your new role involve?
Firstly, I’d like to thank Kiko Rodriguez for the opportunity. My role as a football consultant will be primarily to assist the team at DRN by working hard to find talented players to join us at DRN.
Longer term, I will also assist the team with contract negotiations, transfers as well as recruitment. I will be watching games up and down the country to find the best players we can assist in their career with trials and looking after their well-being.
Career advice and PR assistance is vital to players and I am passionate about supporting DRN in these areas too.
You have a passion for academy football and have watched numerous games over the last few years. How important is the academy system to the development of young players on and off the field?
One of the statistics that is vital to point out is that 0.012% of footballers will go on to make a breakthrough in the Premier League. That figure tells you how difficult it can be for youngsters to breakthrough at the elite level of football.
I am of the opinion that academy that academy football is a crucial part of the fabric in football to prepare young men and women for a career at the elite level or a career across the various levels of football out there such as non-league.
I’ve been fortunate to watch a lot of academy football in recent years and it’s clear to see that there are so many important factors within academy football. Discipline is the first factor that I believe is vital because young players need to understand how to behave and manage themselves responsibly on and off the field.
Then, you have the obvious elements of skill development and preparing players for in game scenarios that will hopefully benefit them in the long term when they go on to play football at a competitive first team level.
An example would be Manchester United who have produced many young players over the years who have progressed through the academy system at a young age. This is vital because the players understand the nature of the clubs sums and already feel like a part of the fabric of the club when they progress to the first team. You have current examples in Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood which highlight this for the club at present.
Last but not least, can you sum up your love of football and what the game means to you?
I love football just like so many millions across the globe. Football is so significant in my life and I love watching the side that I support, Manchester United, and any game that I can go to within my local area and beyond.
I want to utilise my passion for the game with DRN Sport by offering my eyes and ears as well as my hard work and commitment to helping our current players and developing new players over the next few years.
I understand that in some quarters, many don’t trust football agents or are very wary of them but Kiko Rodriquez is a person of great integrity and most certainly respected within footballing circles. At DRN, we care about our footballers and the team work hard for our footballers so to be on board with them means a great deal.