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The long walk

Saturday 27 January 2024

Marianne and I trekked 14.4 miles from Leuchars to Kngsbarns yesterday on the Fife Coast Path. An exhilarating walk and a pleasant overnight stop at the Inn at Kingsbarn. Now on the way from the beautiful Kings barn beach heading to Elie.

On the subject of youth football players more about my eldest son Corin. After a successful 2012/13 season with East Stirlingshire under 19’s, and three substitute appearances for the first team, the club told him they expected him to break into the first team in season 2013/14 as a 19 year old. Unfortunately the demotion of Rangers, following their period of administration in 2012, had a significant impact on the finances of clubs in the Scottish Football League, and East Stirlingshire made a decision to cut back on their squad numbers. After a lifetime of pursuing a career in football, Corin was dropped by the club and he suddenly had to find himself a job that paid!
It has been a huge disappointment to him that he didn’t make a career in football. A big disappointment for me too and a worry that he now had to refocus his life. He had spent his schooldays prioritising his football above all else.
He tried an engineering course at College but that didn’t work for him. He now works at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow on helipad and security duties. A good job but a challenging shift pattern (nights and day shifts) and some interesting people to have to deal with. Not quite the life he imagined when enjoying regular schools and youth team football.
Despite my attempts to encourage his support for Dunfermline and Charlton he decided to adopt his mum’s team to follow and regards himself as an Everton fan. I took him along regularly to East End Park to watch the Pars but his enthusiasm waned after the club released him. We got to see Charlton play live a few times, including a trip to the Valley, but it seemed that every time they were on a live TV game and we watched, they lost! Everton became a more attractive proposition at some stage after he found himself no longer playing on a regular basis. He finally made a trip to Goodison Park last season with his girlfriend, thanks to his Aunt (an avid Liverpool fan) helping get him tickets. He has maybe taken on a team that have as many struggles as Charlton at the moment, though at least doing it in the Premier League, for now!
It is a reminder of just how many talented youngsters don’t quite make it in the professional game and so how very important that they continue their schooling and even learn another trade once they get past the age of 16.

The Charlton under 18s get to brush themselves down after their midweek cup exit and are back in league action this morning.

11.00 am Charlton u18s v Swansea u18s

A game too for the under 21s at Bournemouth. More game time perhaps for Terry Taylor and Conor McGrandles?

1.00 pm Bournemouth u21s v Charlton u21s

The big test for the new coaching team of Fleming and Pearce takes place in Lancashire this afternoon. I need to get us to our Airbnb in Elie before 3.00 pm so I can get on WiFi to see this game.

3.00 pm Blackpool v Charlton