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George Green among players released

10/06/2015  Comments (86)  jump
Alcaraz and Distin also leave; Garbutt offered new deal

Everton have announced the annual list of retained and released players, with once highly-rated teenager, George Green, among the list of players who will not be offered a new contract.

The 19-year-old, who seemed to be on the cusp of making it with a briefly impactful spell on loan at Tranmere Rovers this past season, is being released by Everton along with Sylvain Distin, Antolin Alcaraz, England U20 international John Lundstram and a handful of other youngsters who have failed to make the grade.

Green was originally signed from Bradford City five years ago and became a YouTube sensation among Evertonians for a spectacular back-heeled volley in match for one of the club's youth teams.

Ex-Tranmere boss Mickey Adams labelled him as a little magician earlier this year when he scored a spectacular injury-time equaliser that looked like it might spark a push away from relegation for Rovers but Green couldn't hold down a starting role or help the Wirral side avoid relegation into the Conference.

Personal and attitude problems since his spell at Prenton Park are believed to behind Everton's decision not to keep Green on in the Finch Farm academy.

Centre back Curtis Langton and Irish defender Ben McLaughlin are also on the list of not retained but the Blues confirm that Luke Garbutt has been offered a new deal in the hope that he will extend his contract past this summer as well as Matthew Pennington, Courtney Duffus, Conor Grant, Gethin Jones and Chris Long.

Under-18s members James Graham, Mateusz Hewelt, Antonee Robinson and Jordan Thorniley have been offered professional contracts with the club.

Arlen Birch, Charley Edge and George Newell from that level have also been released.  


Reader Comments (86)

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Darren Bailey
1 Posted 10/06/2015 at 13:50:14
George GreenÂ’s been released! What the fuck? Surely heÂ’s worth keeping around for a little while longer, from the little IÂ’ve seen of him heÂ’s been good.

I heard he had an attitude problem but this oneÂ’s going to come round and bite us on the arse. Obviously one Martinez doesnÂ’t rate at all.

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 10/06/2015 at 14:40:14
George Green has been released and is in The Priory getting himself sorted out. Hope he can come back from this, such a young lad with a great talent, who knows what problems the lad has had. There but for the grace of God, etc etc.
Dave Williams
3 Posted 10/06/2015 at 14:56:33
I have just heard the news that we have released George Green. Hailed as the "next best thing" when he signed from Bradford City at 15 years old he disappeared for some months with a reported back problem although there were rumours that he was suffering in the same way as Billy Kenny all those years ago and finding growing up fraught with problems.

Huge shame as the clips I saw of him showed a lad of immense talent but by the look of things he is yet another who has failed to make the transition from boy star to first teamer.

Lets hope the likes of Liam Walsh, Ryan Ledson and Kieran Dowell do not go the same way.

John Keating
4 Posted 10/06/2015 at 15:07:23
Amazed by this news!! It can only be due to an off-field issue. Football-wise he is class and with luck would have gone on to far better things.

Billy Kenny has been mentioned – without doubt, he would have gone on to captain Everton and England. His talent was immense.

I just hope that young George doesnÂ’t have anything at all resembling Billy’s problems. Unbelievable!

Denis Richardson
5 Posted 10/06/2015 at 15:07:53
All I remember of him are Â’boats and hosÂ’!
Richard Reeves
6 Posted 10/06/2015 at 15:08:30
IÂ’m surprised George Green has been released. I thought he was one of the youngsters the manager was keeping a close eye on and had big expectations for.

WasnÂ’t it last season when in an interview with various Everton fan groups and asked about Green part of his reply was something along the lines of "HeÂ’s a player I like"? Whatever he said gave me the impression the lad was in his plans because of his ability, even if there is a lot of work to do to get into the first team squad.

ItÂ’s disappointing news because heÂ’s unquestionably got talent. It will be interesting to see what Roberto says about his decision to release him, where the lad goes from here, and how well he does.

John Daley
7 Posted 10/06/2015 at 15:44:59
That is a surprise. However, if he is indeed facing the kind of personal problems hinted at above, then itÂ’s surely best he concentrates solely on getting himself sorted out and reevaluate his football career later down the line. Still, I would like to think the club offered him some form of support first, rather than just cutting him loose and washing their hands of the situation altogether.
Alan Humphreys
8 Posted 10/06/2015 at 15:55:59
There were high hopes for Lundstram too. Good luck to them all, hope they find suitable clubs.
Matthew Williams
9 Posted 10/06/2015 at 16:04:13
To be fair we have a pretty sound judgement when letting young promising players leave the club. I cant really think of a time we have lived to regret it. I will trust the club on this one.
Malc Kitchen
10 Posted 10/06/2015 at 16:15:46
Im amazed about young George and Lundstram both seemed destined for the top!

The Bradford manager said about Green he was as good as Gazza, hopefully not GazzaÂ’s troubled mind is an issue with him! Good luck to both of them.

Jamie Crowley
11 Posted 10/06/2015 at 16:31:59
Luke Garbutt has been offered a new deal in the hope that he will extend his contract past this summer.

Any details on the terms?

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 10/06/2015 at 16:38:41
Re George Green, my original post said that it was reported on another Everton website that he was in The Priory getting himself sorted out, I have no knowledge of this myself. The rest of that post are my own feelings.
Charlie Dixon
13 Posted 10/06/2015 at 16:49:32
If his own Twitter account is correct heÂ’ll need to be in The Priory after having had a week all inclusive in Sunny Beach (Bulgaria).

Great shame it didnÂ’t work out. Always thought Ledson, Kenny & Green would be the three to make it.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
14 Posted 10/06/2015 at 17:00:54
A real shame this hasnÂ’t worked out. Sadly, itÂ’s the norm... with young stars like this in the making very rarely coming good. I wish it wasnÂ’t so and I find myself wondering about the total package they are getting as they mature through these vital formative years. Why do so many fall by the wayside?

WeÂ’re led to believe things have come a long way since the tough trials by fire at the school of hard knocks, cleaning the bogs and putting spit and polish on the senior playersÂ’ boots... Hopefully the overall programme is a little more enlightened these days, and does its utmost to meet the very individual needs of each player that extend well beyond the realms of football training... Or does that go against a team ethic where the player, no matter how special, must be forced to conform for the good of the team?

ps: Dave (#12), thanks for the clarification. You said originally "according to another thread" rather than another website, which I took to mean Darren BaileyÂ’s (#1) post, that was also on another thread before these early posts were moved to this thread.

Gavin Johnson
15 Posted 10/06/2015 at 17:25:27
WhatÂ’s the story with Henen?? ItÂ’s been reported that heÂ’s gone back to his parent club. I thought the club were pleased with him and were going to offer him a contract.
Gavin Johnson
16 Posted 10/06/2015 at 17:43:56
ItÂ’s a shame if the stories circulating that heÂ’s had a stint in rehab are true. It would also make some sense in light of his release. The goal for Tranmere, along with the back heel volley and the stories we heard about goals scored in trial matches before he signed show heÂ’s got a lot of innate talent.

Unfortunately talent alone isnÂ’t enough these days. Gone are the days, when a player like Stan Bowles who was released by Man City for a bad attitude to play in lower leagues, would be able to bounce back to play for England and became QPRÂ’s greatest ever player.

Nowadays when a player leaves a premier league academy, they usually end up carving out a career with minnows in the lower leagues, if theyÂ’re lucky!

If the rumours about substance misuse are true, Green will likely follow the path of another ex City player who was heralded as the next big thing - the player being Michael Johnson who was another like our own Billy Kenny who had the world at his feet, but sadly let inner demons push him to self destruction.

Joe Foster
17 Posted 10/06/2015 at 18:13:51
Mo money mo problems
Ian Jones
18 Posted 10/06/2015 at 18:20:32
Sad if another potential players slips through for whatever reason. Might be better if some of these players continued at their original clubs for a few more years before moving on to bigger clubs rather than sign at 15 when they are still children. Of course there will always be exceptions like Messi who looks promising.

Appreciate that George had continued to improve and progress with his first club for a few more years, other clubs would have stepped in before we got a look in.

Every player and every situation is different. Players develop and mature at different stages. Attitudes of players also differ. We will never know if John Stones would have got as far as he has if he had been signed at 15.

Colin Glassar
19 Posted 10/06/2015 at 18:45:06
Surprised, and saddened, for George Green. He was supposed to be the next big hope. I didnÂ’t know he had "issues" apart from his back and size.

Like Chris Waddle said, maybe we do put too much pressure on these kids.

Stephen Brown
20 Posted 10/06/2015 at 18:58:10
I suppose with the minuscule number of players ever coming through our expensively run academy it goes beg the question is it worth it?

I would love a team full of local lads representing the 1st team but it plainly not happening at all, not just here but in all premier league clubs!

I live in Swansea and it seems every child over the age of 6 who can kick a ball is Â’ in the academyÂ’ but is it setting them up for a fall? The reality is a tiny percentage Â’make itÂ’ . Would it be better for all youngsters to play for the school and with their mates until maybe 15 then be given a shot only if really good enough?!

The whole system seems a bit of a mess — especially when you hear of talented players going off the rails!

Mark Farrar
21 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:13:46
So much going on behind the scenes with this one. Too much, too young, once again.
Dean Adams
22 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:17:01
Stephen Brown. Your brave living in Swansea!!! Or do you live in SA3?
John Raftery
23 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:18:59
Based on what I have seen of him for the Under-21s I would have been amazed if we had retained George Green. He looked overweight in pre-season last summer and appears to lack the dedication required at top level.

Only the very best make it to first team level and only if they fully apply themselves. At Bradford he was a big fish in a small pool. On moving to our club, he apparently found it difficult to adjust to playing with better players.

Good luck to him in finding another club at a lower level.

Kelvin Thomas
24 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:28:58
Shocked.

IÂ’ve heard that he fell out of love for the game at one point. You have to assume it's to do with attitude because his talent was well worth keeping hold of!

The Tranmere loan seems strange. As if it was last chance saloon for him! Must have failed the test?

Mark Stone
25 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:22:20
Re Michael Â’A real shame this hasn't worked out. Sadly, it's the norm... with young stars like this in the making very rarely coming good. I wish it wasn't so and I find myself wondering about the total package they are getting as they mature through these vital formative years.Â’

I find myself wondering the very same thing. George Green was 15 when he signed for us from Bradford, at which point I assume he left his family home and moved to the North West to live with a host family. Whilst some of these host families no doubt provide an excellent home for these children, surely no host parent is going to be as concerned about the childÂ’s future as their parents.

Remembering myself at 15, I was nowhere near mature enough to leave home (in hindsight, I wasnÂ’t even mature enough when I was 18 and did move away for University!). IÂ’m sure without my parents' influence, things could have gone titÂ’s up!

I think a lot of young players would be better staying with their local club, getting into the first team and signing for a Premier League team when they are a bit older, like John Stones!

John Paul McGurk
26 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:37:31
CanÂ’t believe it. I had even being telling my RS mates Green was our next BIG thing!
Mark Stone
27 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:54:50
I see John Lundstram has gone also, another one that was mooted for big things.
Nick Entwistle
28 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:57:40
IÂ’m going to presume the academy needs to talk up their better players for future success. How can they attract young players if they were down beat about everyone.

At such a young age, it's a numbers game. Did they promote the couple who have made it through recently as the future stars? And they could be gone in a year.

David Chait
29 Posted 10/06/2015 at 19:59:20
It really is a shock that a player touted as one of the most talented players around at 15 can only a few years later be so far off the mark.

But as time went on this actually should be no surpise at all. When was the last time Green played for England youth... 3 years ago? If you can’t make England Youth, you have almost no chance.

I hoped it was all injuries that was keeping him out... whether it was his doing or the fact that his football never matured, I don’t know... but, for me, this is again evidence if I had a talented kid, the last place I would put them is into a Premier League club’s academy. Keep them off-radar... keep them playing competitive league football... keep them improving without the hype.

He might look back and see joining Everton as the start of the end of his career. Sad if true.

Phil Walling
30 Posted 10/06/2015 at 20:01:05
Â’Too much, too soonÂ’, just about sums it up.
Seems to happen a lot with Â’the specialsÂ’!
Andy Walker
31 Posted 10/06/2015 at 20:58:53
He may well still be the next big thing. The fact that we released him proves fuck all. He may have lost his appetite for the game, or we havenÂ’t the skills to manage him.
Colin Williams
32 Posted 10/06/2015 at 21:12:22
Shame really.... The lads got great ability..... There must be major problems with discipline (etc) – you don’t let talent go like that, without there being a big issue that’s causing a major problem. Good luck to the lad!

Dave Southword
33 Posted 10/06/2015 at 21:17:07
Too much too soon undoubtedly. The problem I have with this is that following what happened to Billy Kenny the club should be a lot more focused on the emotional wellbeing and social circle of young players. Jose Baxter never used to keep great company either.

We canÂ’t run the lives of young players entirely, or forever, but certainly more must be done from 14/15 right through to 20. Boredom and fat bank accounts are a dangerous combination for a young lad. Everton has produced another example. If heÂ’d fulfilled his potential maybe he could have been worth 㾶m, so even from a purely financial point of view...

Ernie Baywood
34 Posted 10/06/2015 at 21:22:55
Shame about Green and Lundstram. Their reputations should ensure theyÂ’ll have a career though.

Am I right in thinking that, if we hadnÂ’t formally offered Garbutt a contract, then he could have left on a Gosling type freebie? If thatÂ’s the case, then I suppose the situation hasnÂ’t really changed.

James Flynn
35 Posted 10/06/2015 at 21:11:33
The old story. ItÂ’s too bad about Green. But they come and they go. "Coulda shouda?" HereÂ’s another. As old as professional athletics anywhere.

A fellow terrific in a particular sport, who doesnÂ’t particularly give a shit about it. It gets him girls, some fame, and money in his pocket; at an age when his buddies have little or none of these things. Getting all this without having to work hard to garner such. He was, simply, really good at a particular sport. HeÂ’s gone and best of luck to him.

We have posters in here who can actually share remembrances about life during the Blitz. Leaving us with a body of footy experience extending back 70-75 years. Keeping GreenÂ’s case as a "What Happened?" example, and since we got a minute, let me ask a ToffeeWeb question. There must be several reading this who had superior athletic ability and skill in footy. But it never panned out. What was the main reason you didnÂ’t/couldnÂ’t pursue a career in the Top Flight?

Nicholas Ryan
36 Posted 10/06/2015 at 22:02:56
There was clearly something amiss, when he scored Â’THATÂ’ goal for Tranmere, but didnÂ’t start the following games, at a time when Rovers were desperate for a goal from anywhere.
Nick Armitage
37 Posted 10/06/2015 at 23:34:09
Not really a surprise that another young lad with the world at his feet has gone off the trails. They generally lack the nouse and life skills to cope with the level of expectation.

Could have the club done more? Who knows but itÂ’s a numbers game and a business for them.

Sad that kids of that age are already on the scrapheap as most of them wonÂ’t achieve much else as the vast majority have jack shit to fall back on. ItÂ’s been that way for years.

Ant Dwyer
38 Posted 11/06/2015 at 00:15:14
It seems a genuine shame that green has been allowed to leave after all the talk of his ability. Some players though seem to find all the hype hard to cope with and end up screwing it all up.

Franklin Colbeck was another youngster who had "issues" at a young age after spending all his childhood being sent to chase the dream.

I know that these lads have it good once the money comes in but they miss the normal teen years and for some of them itÂ’s just simply too much. Hopefully Green will find his own path but IÂ’m thinking he will never be a top top player an probably only be a championship player at best until his late twentys.

Lundstram is a similar story in terms of not having the required quality to make it at a high level at a young age, he will probably end up being another championship player at best until hes older.

Gareth Fieldstead
39 Posted 11/06/2015 at 00:47:21
We were desperate for this lad. Spurs offered Bradford more but we already had an agreement in place, so we were not the only club who had witnessed the huge potential. It maybe worth putting a small amount of money down with a club and leave them where they are until 17 or 18 and then take them if they have matured enough.

Still they only have to look at someone like Mark Ward who was released by us but ended up playing with three top flight clubs. Good luck George.

Gavin Johnson
40 Posted 11/06/2015 at 03:23:59
Sounds like heÂ’s got the makings of another Robin Friday, with so much talent, while seemingly having indifference towards the game.

The goal for Tranmere, the heel volley and the stories of a hat trick in a trial game that had up to 20 clubs chasing his signature, will make us all wonder what could have been! For us to release a player who is still only 19 with so much ability would suggest that there are serious issues afoot. I hope the lad will get the help and guidance he needs.

Victor Yu
41 Posted 11/06/2015 at 04:02:51
Moyes's training method on kids (focusing on physical training instead of skills) had killed the career of many promising players in our system. Most of them seem to Â’hit a wallÂ’ when they reach 18 to 19. (They were all international players with loads of potential when they were under 16.)

I wonder if the results would have been different had players like Green, Baxter, Spencer, Kissock, Chadwick, Anthony Gerrard, even Rodwell were in the Southampton system.

And donÂ’t get me started on Mustafi!

Stu Smith
42 Posted 11/06/2015 at 06:26:13
When I first saw this, I was disappointed and in a way... angry? I had high hopes for George Green so was f’ing and blinding for a while but then I remembered I did the same when we let John Paul Kissock go – he was another superstar in the making when young. In fairness, most of the YTs we let go don’t actually go on and come back to haunt us.
Paul Gladwell
43 Posted 11/06/2015 at 06:55:17
Victor, you can have all the training methods in the world but if a kid wants to act like a kid standing on the corner of bargain booze on a Friday night with his hands down his trackie bottoms then you have no chance.

The amount of uproar IÂ’ve heard about the release of Green from people who wouldnÂ’t recognise the lad if he was standing in front of them is crazy. The lad couldnÂ’t even get a starting place for the second worst team in the Football League, mainly because of his attitude and also a desire to think he was George Best in his own half wanting to take on the world by himself putting his team mates in situations (words of a Tranmere fan).

The club sit down and IÂ’m sure all relative parties have their say before we ditch them; and, to be fair, there have not been many coming back to haunt us. If a kid hasnÂ’t got the desire to keep away from drugs, booze or whatever to make it into a world us supporters can only dream about, then good riddance, give the lad who does a chance instead.

Victor Yu
44 Posted 11/06/2015 at 07:23:50
Green is just an example.

But we have had lots of youth players with potential during MoyesÂ’s era. Yet only a few of them break through (despite the fact that they make the England U1x regularly). Some of them getting released eventually.

DidnÂ’t he try to change the youth training method to be focused on the physical aspect instead of skills too? Then all the coaches got lost and frustrated.

I wonder what Moyes would have done to Ronaldo when he joined Man Utd as a 19-year-old kid? Tell him not to dribble so much? Ask him to track back and improve on his tackling?

There is no doubt in my mind that Moyes ruined a lot of youngstersÂ’ careers by not focusing on developing their soccer skills. ThatÂ’s why most of them hit a wall when they are 18 or 19.

Would Anichebe and Rodwell be developed better if they were in Southampton? I definitely think so!

Erik Dols
45 Posted 11/06/2015 at 07:38:19
Victor Yu, short note on Mustafi. The lad was 17 when he came to us, before that he was trained in Germany. He left us when he was 19. On a free transfer. In hindsight certainly not the smartest transfer dealing, but it had little to do with training methods or youth setup.
John Crawley
46 Posted 11/06/2015 at 08:16:07
Nicholas (#36), according to other sites, Green went out and celebrated that goal for Tranmere so much that he missed training the next day. I heard Sharp saying that Sheedy had doubts that Green would make it because of his attitude. ItÂ’s a shame because there was no doubting his ability but if you havenÂ’t got the right attitude and application youÂ’re not going to make it.

In hindsight, it might have been better to leave him at Bradford after we signed him and let him develop by coming through the ranks there. Hopefully this can act as a wake up call and he can get his career back on track at another club.

Andrew Ellams
47 Posted 11/06/2015 at 08:52:51
I wouldnÂ’t lose too much sleep over Mustafi. He is not as good as Stones or Jagielka.
Derek Turner
48 Posted 11/06/2015 at 09:04:53
Boats and hoes in a Motson sheepie is what I will remember him for. Possibly the most cringeworthy thing I have ever seen from one of ours. Still, wouldnÂ’t feel too sorry for him, though he may have to downgrade the spec of the boat and the ho a bit.
Andrew Ellams
49 Posted 11/06/2015 at 09:35:38
I suspect he may turn up at Tranmere next season. Big drop to Conference football though.
Patrick Murphy
50 Posted 11/06/2015 at 09:26:06
Victor - I doubt that David Moyes even recognised any player outside of the players available for first-team duty. It will probably be the same with Roberto. That is why the club employ others to take care of the youngsters. How much time do people think that a Premier League manager has on his hands during the season?

50% of all youngsters are doomed to failure and very few at any club go on to make an impact at first-team level. I would also argue that the motivations for the youngsters in modern times is very different to what it was many many years ago, then it was about forging a career because they loved playing the game, nowadays many youngsters want the fame and the rewards but donÂ’t put in the necessary hard work and without that they too are doomed to failure no matter how talented.

Kevin Ratcliffe was Andy KingÂ’s boot boy and Kevin said that Kingy gave him a hard time, whilst Ratters didnÂ’t enjoy it at the time, he realised that it helped him to grow up and helped to toughen him up for what is a very demanding career. NobodyÂ’s advocating going back to treating the kids as lesser mortals but somebody has to ensure that the Â’stardomÂ’ doesnÂ’t go to their heads, not easy to achieve but like most things any player will only get out of the game what he puts into it.

Mike Allison
51 Posted 11/06/2015 at 09:33:12
Attitude is more important than ability. Some fairly limited (relatively) players have had extremely successful careers because they worked hard, whereas some really talented people have disappeared because they didnÂ’t have it where it really mattered, in the head.
Ant Dwyer
52 Posted 11/06/2015 at 09:49:36
The Mustafi thing slightly irks me but in all fairness the only thing that gets players like him up to a decent standard is actually playing first team football.

ThereÂ’s no way on earth this lad would have broken through under Moyes with Jags and Distin ahead of him. Johnny Heitinga was unable to break up that partnership and he was a Dutch international.

The next position for a centre half to learn his trade is full back and how was he going to be better than Baines or Coleman? Sometimes things happen for the benefit of the club and sometimes it benefits the player; in this case, the player benefitted.

Liam Reilly
53 Posted 11/06/2015 at 10:42:34
You only appreciate what you work hard to achieve and too many of these kids are over hyped and believe theyÂ’ve made it far too too soon.

The dollars and fame come far too soon for kids too immature to handle them. I fail to see what damage would be done by creating a scaled wage structure for these kids until they are 21; although all clubs would have to buy into it.

Phil Sammon
54 Posted 11/06/2015 at 10:55:59
There is some absolute tripe being talked on here today. George is a top lad. No, he is not some tee-total clean cut type... but by no means does he have any sort of a problem. HeÂ’s just a very normal young man who happens to be the best talent we have in the academy by a country mile.

This one is going to come back and bite us on the arse big time... and you know what, I actually hope it does. I hope George goes on to make a mockery of this decision and the staff who have sanctioned his release.

Tony Abrahams
55 Posted 11/06/2015 at 10:34:24
Disagree Patrick, there was nothing wrong with the old system, in fact it probably kept the kids on the premises until late afternoon.

If the old system was wrong then spend more money on educating these lads on a second career.

Martinez gets a lot of stick but one thing I think hes getting right is building houses on Finch Farm. These kids have got to realise how lucky they are, and should be made to immerse themselves totally in football.

IÂ’m sure if this happens the production lines would soon be getting a lot busier

I agree with everything else you say though Patrick, because 90% of these kids wonÂ’t even feel they are lucky, it will just become a job to them.

Anthony Flack
56 Posted 11/06/2015 at 13:16:59
For me the more interesting part of the news is Garbutt has been offered a new deal. Is there any more information on this?

The fact that people have to go back as far as Mark Ward as an example of a bad decision, sort of demonstrates how rarely these decisions come back to haunt you. Also we are just as likely to pick up another clubs previous "wonder-kid" who drops down a few levels then shines.

Eugene Ruane
57 Posted 11/06/2015 at 12:23:32
Re Â’these kidsÂ’ and how they think-feel, I think I have a half-insight.

One of my oldest mates (a blue) has a lad who is (just) 16. In that incredibly short space of time, the kid has been at Blackburn, Man City and Liverpool (so though not considered to be Messi, good enough for professional sides to be interested).

And, the kid is now done with football, his decision – basically told his dad, "I don’t want to do it no more," and his dad said "Fine – up to you."

My mate is football mad and spent years dropping the kid off and picking him up at various clubs and tournaments and probably had dreams of his son making it, but he definitely isnÂ’t sorry the kid is out of it.

He told me (heÂ’s very sweary) "TheyÂ’re cunts yÂ’know... the clubs like, they donÂ’t give a fuck and you know what, they donÂ’t even pretend they do. The only lads who donÂ’t get treated like shite is if thereÂ’s a kid who IS Messi or Rooney, one of them type of kids."

He said all that stuff you hear about clubs now considering things like education or what happens if lads don’t make it is "All fucking bollocks, they do fuck all, they’re only interested in one thing – players good enough to be signed by someone. Either for them or to sell."

He told me he met a Spanish woman at Melwood who had been encouraged to move to Liverpool as a Spanish scout liked her 12-year-old son who was with Betis or someone. They hadnÂ’t given her anything other than the hope he could make it and so sheÂ’d left home with the kid. No job, no house, different country, lingo, basically encouraged to risk all on the very slim chance the kid might make money in the future.

My mateÂ’s son is like many 16-year-olds in that itÂ’s hard getting much out of him at the best of times, but when I ask him about his football, itÂ’s obvious that the whole experience was 100% joyless for him and to me, that is an absolute fucking crime.

To me, it should be law that no club can have any dealings with any kids until those kids are 14.

Same for kids playing in leagues, if youÂ’ve ever seen the carry-on out of some of the shaven headed, trackie-wearing, Fergie wannabe lunatics in charge of kids sides, youÂ’d call social services.

Another (French) mate in a tiny place called Neville in Normandy has a son who is mad on football. When I went with his dad to watch his village/town play in an Under-15s fixture, the whole thing had a completely different feel or Â’vibeÂ’ (Â’er..itÂ’s just the whole vibe your honourÂ’).

It looked so much more relaxed and less stressful and the kids werenÂ’t being screamed at every 30 seconds along the lines "Arrete le tip-tappin, get it dans le fuckinÂ’ box!!"

After the match (a draw), my mateÂ’s son looked happy and relaxed and like heÂ’d had an enjoyable experience.

After every England World Cup (failure), thereÂ’s head-shaking and inquests and suggestions of how to put things right, but IÂ’ve never heard Â’Just fucking leave them alone til theyÂ’re 14Â’ suggested.

My campaign to help kids and improve English football wouldn’t be subtle, basically posters with this pic Link and lines like "If you’ve got a big mouth, a red face and a shaven head and you’re wearing a trackie, you’re the reason English football is shite – fucking do one, you fat meff!"

Kerry Frahm
58 Posted 11/06/2015 at 13:51:18
Ummm, sad about Green. Yeah, maybe... but Alcaraz! About bloody time! Total waste of air he was! Buh-bye!
Tony J Williams
59 Posted 11/06/2015 at 14:01:25
I think Mark Stone #25 has a point.

Think about the last three "big" names to come through the youth squad to actually become names in the Premier League:

Rooney, Rodwell and Barkley.

WhatÂ’s the connection? All scousers.

All can pop home to the parents at a minutes notice and all built like brick shithouses.

A lad in work says his son has been all over the show for trials and when he managed to get a team he simply fell out of love with football. Too much pressure and too business like.

Only the strong will survive, unfortunately.

Patrick Murphy
60 Posted 11/06/2015 at 14:14:00
Eugene, that’s a very sad indictment of the Professional game and you would think that improving the players – any player in their charge both on and off the pitch – would be the least they could try and do.

When you consider the significant sums of money invested in coaches, technicians etc, itÂ’s a crime that any young person comes away disillusioned by the game. The Â’let them sink or swimÂ’ dogma is no way for any professional outfit to behave and, considering that young players are the lifeblood of the game, it's complete madness for the clubs to behave towards their prospective talent in that manner.

Organised sport is fine as long as it remembers that first and foremost it is to be enjoyed by those who participate, just as art and music should be. If the talent is there and nurtured, it will bring rewards but only those who have exceptional talent and work the hardest will make any financial reward from that talent.

It is, as you say, not helped by some of the parents who only see their offspring as a conduit to undreamed of riches; whoever said that "the love of money is the root of all evil" wasnÂ’t at all wrong.

Kevin Tully
61 Posted 11/06/2015 at 14:31:23
I was released by Everton at 21. I never got over it really. As I walked out of the stadium for the last time, I decided to keep the big yellow hi-viz jacket of a reminder of the good times.....
Ernie Baywood
62 Posted 11/06/2015 at 14:23:29
Eugene, firstly fair play on the movie reference. DonÂ’t reckon that would get much of a take up on here.

Secondly, agree with just letting kids enjoy their football. But as you say, some of the local kids teams are just as bad in terms of putting pressure on them.

Ideally they stay close to home, arenÂ’t giving up their lives, but still get a good quality football education. DidnÂ’t clubs used to have boundaries they had to work in when picking up kids? Our has that gone the way of limiting the number of kit releases?

Steavey Buckley
63 Posted 11/06/2015 at 14:33:11
It is no surprising that players who have really made it at Goodison in the past 12 years were home grown players such as Rooney, Rodwell and Barkley (all three have played for Everton and England).

It is not surprising young players who come from outside of Merseyside, fail to make the first team – a good lesson, just have the homegrown. Young men still need their mums, dads, siblings close at hand.

Andrew Ellams
64 Posted 11/06/2015 at 14:34:17
My brother has a mate who is a mad Man City fan and when they took an interest in his 12-year-old son, he was chuffed to bits, as you would be.

When he went to see them, all they talked about was the kick-backs mum and dad would get if he signed, new TVs etc. He ended up with Bolton because, when he went to see them, they talked about what they would do for his development and how they would help him fit in.

Brian Harrison
65 Posted 11/06/2015 at 14:53:04
Eugene

I had a mate whose son started at Liverpool then was released at 18, he went to a couple of other clubs, and never made the grade but still plays for an amateur club.

Regarding starting them too young I couldnt agree more, and to see the under 10 kids paraded around Goodison is again fueling false expectation. Many years ago you could only sign kids on schoolboy forms at 14/15, but now they get the kids to young.

I used to go to what is now called the Shankly playing fields and Mick Lyons ran a team of kids. I knew Mick and used to chat with him, and he always praised kids from both sides who did something good. But then you listen to the Neanderthalls who watch their kids play, and you have to feel sorry for their kids.

Sadly in the cruel world of football, kids have always been released by clubs going back decades. But the money is so massive now and they see the first team players turning up in Gold Rolls RoyceÂ’s and they think that will be me one day.

Michael Kenrick
66 Posted 11/06/2015 at 15:21:50
There must be something you’re missing out, Phil (#54). All very well saying ’absolute tripe’ but you provide no explanation for his release, while what you claim about him cannot be completely true – or they certainly would not have released him.
Jim Knightley
67 Posted 11/06/2015 at 15:33:54
I’m with Eugene and the others – I think there should be more protection for youth players, and that the whole system should be more tightly regulated. Teams have a responsibility to the youth players on their books, and they should not just be reduced to potential stars and read in terms of potential profit. These capitalistic manifestations, which are increasing becoming a part of education in general in this country, have ugly sides and many promising youth footballers will have suffered because of it.

I read an interesting article about Nii Odartey Lamptey some time ago, which is a little related. Some of you might find it interesting to read, especially because of the way he was exploited at points: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2008/feb/03/africannationscup2008.africannationscup1

Ian Jones
68 Posted 11/06/2015 at 15:51:12
It would be interesting to find out why he has been released, then we would be able to comment without filling in gaps.

Sadly, we are unlikely to find out the official view. Good luck to him. Hope he gets another chance somewhere else.

Mike Doyle
70 Posted 11/06/2015 at 16:29:28
Brian (65) Good Point.

Back in the 70s I was one of those kids in Mick Lyons’s Sunday team (’Malpas’ – named after the road where Mick lived on the Croxteth Estate) and remember those days well.

The other thing I recall was that in those days there weren’t that many people on the touchline at either Sunday League or school matches – certainly nothing like today.

And the Neanderthal behaviour is not restricted to the parents either – some of the conduct of rival "coaches" and teachers leaves a lot to be desired.

Mark Stone
71 Posted 11/06/2015 at 17:26:54
I hadnÂ’t seen the boats and hoes video. Now I have, and I donÂ’t think IÂ’ll ever be able to unsee it!
Mark Farrar
72 Posted 11/06/2015 at 17:25:35
Living in his hometown of Dewsbury his various partying exploits on returning home for weekends were always the talk of the local lads on the footy team. Obviously didnÂ’t pay much attention to it but unfortunately looks now they may be nearer the mark than I believed.
Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 11/06/2015 at 17:43:26
Brian (65) liked your story about Mick Lyons praising lads from both teams, when you are young words of encouragement can go a long way and mean a lot.

Different sport but I always remember Alan Rudkin giving prizes out at a boxing show, he spoke to every boxer he gave a prize to, but he spoke more to each losing boxer and IÂ’m sure he did more for their future in boxing by this simple form of kindness than just letting them walk away without any bit of encouragement.

Eugene Ruane
74 Posted 11/06/2015 at 20:26:21
Dave (73) - Re Rudkin, he seemed that type of decent feller, even towards the end of his life, when he wasnÂ’t in good health and drinking too much (usually in the Cracke).

He always seemed happy to chat and (even when unsteady on his pins) always came across as very pleasant.

(And career-wise, if ever a feller had reason to feel luck/fate had conspired against him.)

Eugene Ruane
75 Posted 11/06/2015 at 20:42:49
Mike (70) – When I played Sunday League (late 70s), there were plenty of Neanderthals and lunatics knocking about – sometimes supporting the opposition, sometimes playing for or managing them (we even had a couple play for us for a short while).

That was fine though, we were all adults (more or less) and it kind of added to the Â’funÂ’ (although Â’funÂ’ might not be the most accurate way to describe an away game against Speke Argyle).

As children however, we were just left to our own devices and apart from school teams, I donÂ’t remember any adult involvement at all.

You picked the venue, you picked sides, you played until it was dark. You knew when youÂ’d played well and you knew when you hadnÂ’t and if you hadnÂ’t, there was always tomorrow. And was it enjoyable?

We just couldn’t get enough – from when I was about 7/8 to my early 20s, I wanted to play football every single day (and for the majority of them, did).

However, had some fat angry lunatic screamed "FUCKING GET RID!!!" each time I got the ball, IÂ’d have probably knocked it on the head before I was 10.

Dave Abrahams
76 Posted 11/06/2015 at 21:01:53
Eugene (74) yes, youÂ’re right about Alan; he was the same as he was starting off as he was throughout his career, in the good times and the bad, he was always the same man.

British champ and three shots at the world title, he never made a lot of money, I think his biggest purse was㾶,000 for one of his world title efforts, he was well liked by boxing fans and people he drank with and grew up with.

Phil Sammon
77 Posted 11/06/2015 at 21:56:39
Michael 66

WhereÂ’s the evidence of his bad behaviour? IÂ’ve spoken to George on a number of occasions and heÂ’s not that sort of guy.

Michael Kenrick
78 Posted 11/06/2015 at 22:04:07
Phil, youÂ’re then in a much better position than many of us, yes... but if youÂ’re on talking terms and youÂ’re not telling us what reason he was given... (I assume youÂ’ve asked him that?) well, I just wonder if some Â’denialÂ’ thing is in process here...
Jimmy Kelly
79 Posted 11/06/2015 at 23:34:54
IÂ’m not too sure why everyoneÂ’s so surprised by this. The lad was clearly miles away from the first team and at 19 that means youÂ’re always likely to get the chop. Yes, he was supposedly extremely talented, but heÂ’s been in and out of our youth sides ever since he came, went on loan to the worst team in the football league, and was never anywhere near England youth set ups. IÂ’d assumed he wouldnÂ’t make it about 18 months ago.

Andy Crooks
80 Posted 12/06/2015 at 00:29:48
Eugene # 57, a really spot on scary post. It is just appalling and reminds me of how we were horrified at how countries hot-housed kids for ideology and now we do it for the Premier League dream.

Last summer, I was taking my granddaughter to a play park and passed some football matches on the way. They involved kids probably aged 7 to 14. The atmosphere was toxic. There was no sense of fun, no idea of a team, just the X-factor for kids kicking a ball.

I moved on because of a demented, blood vessel bursting, tracked suited, utterly poisonous, half witted loon screaming, "Keep your shape, keep your shape", What he meant, neither he nor I, nor any of the kids, knew.

Roger Helm
82 Posted 12/06/2015 at 07:59:18
I was on holiday in Spain, off the tourist track, and our room overlooked the football club so I watched the kids, boys and girls, training in the evening. They warmed up, then a lot of ball skills drills, then had 7-a-side matches, grouped I think by size and ability rather than age.

It seemed very relaxed and fun, no shouting or pressure. Just a snapshot, but perhaps they do things better in other countries.

Dave Abrahams
83 Posted 12/06/2015 at 09:03:48
On the subject of young players, does anyone remember Andy Penman who played for Everton in the fifties. He came from Scotland and played in a derby game at Anfield at the age of fifteen. He went back home not long after that, no problems with the lad, just homesickness. He had a huge career in Scotland mainly I think with Dundee, he also played for Hearts and Rangers.
Dave Richman
84 Posted 12/06/2015 at 10:42:10
Due to my having a slow and unmotivated Friday, I just read the thread underneath the link to this one "Remember the Name, George Green".

Some interesting, and prophetic, comments about Roberto Martinez on that thread.

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 12/06/2015 at 18:12:00
Eugene (#57), that was one fucking great fucking post! FuckinÂ’ ay!

Hilarious... and wise.

Here in the US the sideline yobs donÂ’t have shaven heads... they have comb-overs tweaked with Grecian Formula... but the vibe is the same.

30 years ago I was one of the top youth referees in the Midwest. Gave it up because I was having too much trouble controlling my desire to run over to the touchline and punch out these asshole coaches. I hear nothing much has changed.

Nick Entwistle
86 Posted 12/06/2015 at 18:51:23
Is this the kind of thing, Eugene?

http://www.itv.com/news/london/2015-06-08/football-coach-beaten-up-by-furious-dad-on-the-touchline-during-under-nines-match/

Phil Walling
87 Posted 12/06/2015 at 18:49:32
Back in the late seventies, I volunteered to referee in RorkyÂ’s Schoolboy league in Formby. As the teams lined up for my very first game, I noticed that one of the two kids at the kick-off was two yards inside the opposition half and I signalled for him to retreat. Â’Fuck me, ref, donÂ’t be a fucking jobsworth!Â’ was the immediate response.

Thus I was inducted into refereering. It was the Under 12s Division!

Stuart Mitchell
88 Posted 19/06/2015 at 14:06:33
I see he has just signed for Oldham.

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