“My child is really talented, how can I get them into an academy?”

Written by Steven Caulker

All copyright reserved by Steven Caulker

“My child is really talented, how can I get them into an academy?”

Rightly so, parents across the globe relentlessly ask me this question. I’m a parent too, and I always want the best for my son.

Hopefully, this post will help..

I joined Tottenham Hotspur Football Club academy a few months before my 16th birthday, I was somewhat a late arrival.
I had previously been on trial at Chelsea, Reading, QPR & Brentford, but never really did myself justice. I was scared, super super nervous walking on to the pitch (standing out like a sore thumb with different kit on to everyone else).

Using Chelsea as an example, they gave me one game, 90 minutes to prove myself worthy of a contract. Do you know how much pressure I felt that game? 90 minutes to make all my dreams come true?! I froze, I played within myself, the pressure ate me alive.
The fear was so overwhelming that whilst on trial at Brentford, I was told by one of the coaches that I had 2 left feet!

My confidence was shot to pieces.

So look, my point is this. Your child may be talented, and may well be ready for the next step. But please don’t let them feel the pressure of that.

Below are my suggestions:

• Be patient, let your child enjoy pressure-free football for as long as possible. Some of my best memories are of playing Sunday league 🏆
• When the time is right, approach various different teams, it might take 5 different teams for your child to finally settle and feel comfortable 🗣
• Getting rejected means nothing – not every coach has the same opinion. It might take a while to find a coach who can appreciate your child’s talent 💥
• Does your child give 100% effort? Praise them. The rest is out of their control 👏🏽
• Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Ensure that your child has a solid education because the chance of making it pro is so very very slim 😔
• I wouldn’t worry too much about what they’re eating, too much science and not enough living is a bad combination 🍔
• If signing with an agent, look what personal care they offer. If your child performs then the money will take care of itself. Look at what they need in order to perform, can the agent help provide that 💭

These are just a few suggestions based on my lived experience. I guess there is no right or wrong as every individual is different.

Anyone else got any suggestions?


Written by Steven Caulker

(Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)