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“After playing football myself and having a couple of unsuccessful trials with professional clubs, I was left wondering how the pros are different and what they had done that I didn’t to make the transition from an amateur level to a Professional level. I initially had the idea to actually explore these unanswered questions in my final year at Bournemouth Uni.”
A number of current and former professionals were also involved in the book including current Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling and former Bournemouth striker and television pundit Steve Claridge. Much of the work in contacting professional players was done by Dean, who said, “I contacted clubs and then sent individual letters to a large number of players at their clubs’ training grounds. Then it was a waiting game and thankfully quite a few responded.
“I must say I was hugely impressed with their willingness to help, they were brilliant throughout and gave up huge amounts of their time, and never once asked for a penny.”
The forward for the book was written by former footballer and television personality Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock, who says, “The Footballer’s Journey is essential reading. It helps guide and advise not only football hopefuls, but also parents, and even current professionals when looking at life after football.”
The book was released in April 2014 and has been well received, with mentions in FourFourTwo magazine and an appearance on Sky 1 television programme Soccer AM due in May. Further endorsements for the book have come from the likes of Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).
Dean graduated from BU in 2013 and had these words of wisdom to share with current students who are burning with an idea for the future, “If you come up with an idea, or a project you have a great passion and drive for, and you think it can really make a difference and be successful, give it a try or you’ll forever wonder what might have been.”
More information about The Footballer’s Journey can be found through Amazon.
Originally published on The Business School Blog.