The Mistakes I Made As A Football Manager – And Why I Must Go Back

This is where it Started. All these boys are no 22 year old+

This is where it Started. All these boys are now 22 year old+

15 seasons in a row I was involved in Football in a non playing capacity. I had to stop playing the beautiful game when I was around 23 years old due to a knee problem I suffered when I was maybe 17 years old, can’t really remember but it was the reason I became a manager. For a few years I was almost depressed that I couldn’t play football again as I had done so since 6 years old, I was just too sore. Then my kids, 2 sons, hit School Football around 1997 I think was my first involvement as a parent or coach as I managed to do, even tho it was hurting me, I had to do something, Football to this day is my life away from life, first the people in my own home are my reasons, paying bills, buying stuff, being a parent, a partner and all that comes with being in a normal family I am was and will always be in, but when I could, I did football. These days I write tireless crap about our World and also the Scottish Independent movement, I enjoy writing for The Celtic Network as it gets my football brain back on. This was the last image of us as a team. I remember going home so disappointed it was over; I missed my boys, my team, I had to get back to it somehow

One of the best moments I was involved in

One of the best moments I was involved in

Ace News Services  I really enjoy with an Editor who is a good friend but also teaches me how to interact as a blogger better. Editor at the Celtic Network however has to give me a row 😀 I can cross the football line by accident, but he is a good lad and trustworthy. The day I had to leave the kids team above as both my Sons would be in High school with 1 already there and my son in this image who was about to go, I was really upset at having to say goodbye to, they all went on to play a good level of football and from time to time I bump into one of them, kinda feel like I helped them become the decent lads they are today as young men. I became Manager in my own right when my older son and his mates went to High School leaving me with my youngest son for 2 years in School football with me as manager, you stop School when your own son leaves for high school, other parents them step in, I would tell anyone to go and work with kids at this age, just amazing moment to always remember

My 1st Adults team, Athletes to a man they were :D

My 1st Adults team, Athletes to a man they were 😀

We even made into Scottish media, media outwith Edinburgh

We even made into Scottish media, media outwith Edinburgh

So I had no football and a mate I call a mate today said “Why don’t you take this adults team” I was like “OK!” Totally blind to the difference of adults football, something I totally get today. So I stepped in, way above my head, lacking any adult experience, but I look back to the team above as the team and guys and my time in football that made me able to handle all football emotions and players who would try and hit you 😀 Most of the lads were decent lads, all of them were giving me everything to be fair, but a few were testing my temper as I really wanted to create something many people could do, almost like a huge family all helping to make it work. The guys above I still speak to a few. As a Celtic fan I was asked to take this internet based side called ‘Jambos Kickback, for Hearts fans based in my the East side of my City Edinburgh. I took a few games as I really missed football with the kids, so I thought “Yeah, let’s take this somewhere and have fun” And it was more than fun 😀 Being a Celtic fan from the East of Scotland, being Manager of anything called Hearts is kind of hard to pull off, difficult in our Scottish culture. I write this as most who will read this will not be from Scotland. So I embarked on trying to build something, coaches came and went, friends came and remain to this day, I loved to be on the touchline. Football in my brain and my mind back then was like a big game of chess, one manager would move a player so I would see it and counter his actions. Over time I guess I got not bad at it as we started to really develop and Gorgie Hearts then had a Sunday adult’s side and a few kids’ teams, WE had really worked hard to get something not just for ourselves but also the local community where we were based. I allowed guys to run it so I could focus on the Adults team I still had, I gave unwavering trust to people and in the end they let kids down, I was sad it happened but no adults let me down, they let the kids down. I carried on with Gorgie for a few years then I let go off Gorgie Hearts with my heart set on going back to a really good level of kid’s football

Amazing memories in my last season with Gorgie Hearts

Amazing memories in my last season with Gorgie Hearts

With no football I guess I just needed a break for a few months at this stage. I had given everything I had, made friends and enemies I guess. I don’t hold enemies today from football, maybe some people hold my name in a bad light, but we can only be who we are and I was probably too honest at this stage of my development helped by my left hand man who was with me all the years I did this, this friend was an ex graded football referee, the lad never left my side and booted my backside on a number of occasions where I had crossed the line verbally at a Referee, he was a bit older but today I look at him as my Football Dad, out of all the people who came and went he never, he used to give me a herd time, never in-front of other staff and certainly not the players and this is why we remain more than friends today, he would call me or wait till we were alone before he would give me a hard time. Saying that when we won a trophy he was always first to say “Well done Shaun” As you can see in the image above he has his hand on my shoulder, he looks proud of me and this is something that I needed. Should I go back to football, and I have spoken to him already we will go back together as a team and do things right. He has a career being a ref and 13 years with me to annoy him 😀 So this is a man I need in my football life

Kids born 1994 - Fernieside Football Club

Kids born 1994 – Fernieside Football Club

So no Gorgie Hearts and again I just needed to rest my mind, then a good man who owned a club called me up one night and said “How do you fancy making this team better” The kids above were low level team winning 25% of games and not moving in any direction. When we left for offered pastures new we had won trophies, these kids got to play in football stadiums as a team, kids, parents the club, staff, everyone made this an amazing few years. I regret leaving this team but I did so on a lie, the first time I truly felt betrayed in Football. But it was all good, I was learning. There I was about 34 years old learning to be a football manager. Here I am at 42 years old with 15 years and 4 football teams managed only of experience behind me. I try and stay a long time with a team as it can take a year to gain trust. I see guys in and out of teams every month and they need to just relax and do what they are actually excellent at, be them coaches or managers. I was starting to see the bad side of football and it was with kids. Adults shouting and swearing, Dads almost living their own dreams through their son’s football, and this was my biggest mistake as a Football Manager, I really wanted it so bad for my son’s I thought I always knew better, but this is all part of learning in football and life, and something I have learnt, I just want to go and make new moments. Both my sons should be Pro football players; I got in the way a lot of the time. Saying that there are about 100 Trophies, awards and winners medals in our cabinet in my main room, so we didn’t do too badly when we look back but hindsight kills us all in the end. I like to get these trophies and framed photos out from time to time, give them a wash and while washing them remembering how we won them. All through these 15 years my partner and 2 sons were behind me and we behind my sons when we played, my, my partner and 2 sons were just an amazing team and we loved to win, I miss those days, we all do. Today my sons are grown up, 1 moved out the other to move out, but we have two little girls now, so a new chapter in our life begins. Who thinks I will get my Daughters into Football? 😀 HA HA Sorry, a joke friends throw at me 😀

Just a few, these are my Trophies we won

Just a few, these are my Trophies we won, we don’t get many trophies as manager, odd 

My Church :D

My Church 😀

Then the pain came. I joined Civil Service Strollers, a really decent sized senior side from Edinburgh, a team I could have played against Celtic, Rangers and all the pro teams. This was East of Scotland Under 21 level and at the age of 36 there I was with a huge club with a board of directors to answer too and I should have gave up football before this, long before this, I was hurting. Was strange at first having this, but over time you learn from running a club these guys mostly just want what’s right for their clubs. Not all the lessons you learn in football are bad, I have had amazing people at my disposal to ask for help and advice, something I did right till I had to stop due to my disability I still have today. I am fighting hard to try and get back into football, unpaid, just because I refuse to stop living, it will hurt but I can look in a mirror and say “I am helping people” Remember this? 15 Years in Football – I want more! Interested in Experienced Football Manager? I am desperate to get back to football for 2016/2017 season. I have had a few calls and there are few phone numbers saved for more talk early in 2016. Where ever I end up I will no doubt still be one of the younger managers. Losing ability to play made me get a football brain early, as I say it’s like chess. You learn how to make dysfunction into functioning. You learn to make everyone from the players to the first aid guy feel important. But most of all, I want to win. If I end up with kids winning won’t matter, it will be about progressing young minds into better players who one day will want to win for the right reasons and also be better young men. Part of my job was to teach them football but at the back of my mind I wanted to make a young kid better, if they are failing in class or are bad bannered I didn’t down them or make them feel worse and rebel more, sadly as most managers do as I seen, to this day if I see a manager swearing I will report him to the SFA, how can we allow a kid to learn if they can’t make mistakes? We must allow them to make mistakes, with these kids I made them my friends and they trusted me. Something we learn as we go in life. I say always when I write in general terms it’s the small detail that is always in the end the big story. For me it is here also. SO! Any club owners fancy an amazing journey with moment to last a life time? Contact me above.

Me to the right, pointing and coaching probably a few months before I had to stop

Me to the right, pointing and coaching probably a few months before I had to stop


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4 comments on “The Mistakes I Made As A Football Manager – And Why I Must Go Back

  1. So, are you going to do it this time? I think you should. You need something that gets you out of the house and stops you thinking about yourself, your illness. Should i call it an illness or a driving force? Seems a shame to waste such a talent, especially if it gives you joy in life. After all, we should all do what we enjoy and not what we have to do to survive.

    If you take the plunge i wish you every success with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like the last time, I want to. I am coming off medication, using my knee/leg braces more. Trying to strengthen my muscles in my legs. So I can only say I want to. I think I have said many times that it I start football, I stop blogging. It is boring me to tears. Sadly right now I can’t do much, but as the days pass I am slowly getting there. Isn’t for the wanting mate…

      Liked by 1 person

      • You should try swimming. Takes the weight off your limbs but will help build muscle tone and strengthen those joints.


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