When I was a kid…
Like most kids, I was greatly influenced by my Dad and elder brother in nuturing my interests in football. My earliest memory of watching football was the occational TV broadcasts of the English FA Cup in the late 80’s. Teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace were the very first teams that I know. (I am still a Spurs fan!) Following that were the 1990 and 1994 World Cup Finals. I was probably still too young to be a passionate audience but I still remember some names and images such as Roberto Baggio, Romario, Gabriel Batistuta, and, strangely, Henrik Larsson (Probably because of his hair style then, and of course his great performance in the 3-rd place playoff).
Then suddenly my brother introduced to me the highlights of the then newly established English Premier League (back then, there was no regular TV coverage of league matches). The early rivalry between Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers was still very much classic in my mind. Like all the other kids, players such as Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton, Eric Cantona, Andrei Kanchelskis, Ryan Giggs, Gary Pallister, Peter Schmeichel, Tim Flowers…were all my heroes.
Those were the days before a sudden burst of live TV coverage for European football: English Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and Champions League football were all easily reachable through paid TV channels during the late 90’s.
The year of 2004 was a year which helps planting some seeds in my decision to go for a coaching career. FC Porto’s and Greece’s triumph performance in the Champions League and European Championship made me realise how important a coach can be for a team.
The more matches I watched and played, the more I realise how ignorant I am in the football world (I am still ignorant I suppose) and the more I realise how paralysed I am as a player, partly due to the fact that I was never exposed to systematic training to train my body and my mind, and partly because I am simply not good enough. (Now I realise I would be a far better player if I had the priviledge to train with good coaches now that I am a coach myself)
I gave up trying to be a professional a player after I entered Uniersity and started dropping out of the game a bit, transforming to an occational leisure player. The prospect of earning some good money as a business graduate has taken my eyes off the pitch.