The emotional turmoil for mummy when your 8 year old goes away on football tour.

Bit of a long title but it pretty much says what I wanted to write about!

On Tuesday Dylan my eldest, (but only 8!!), goes off on tour with his Cambridge United Academy team. He is off to York to play all sort of exciting teams like Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, Derby for 3 days and 2 nights. No parents allowed, we’re not even allowed to speak to them!!

I get to drop him off on the morning of my birthday to the stadium in Cambridge, and leave him in the capable hands of 3 of the amazing coaches and with 11 of his team mates. I got a very long letter of instructions from the head coach a couple of weeks back giving us the packing list and there was a big section about use of mobile phones and contact with our children. In order to replicate life as a professional footballer there will be no taking of mobile phones and no contact with mums and dads. That sounds strict, he is only 8, and he is with a group of boys that he has only known for 3 months. Its scary..but I am going to have to be the brave mummy and send him off with smiles and maybe a tear or too in the car once he has gone.

How Do I Feel?

I am not sure how I am feeling. Proud certainly. Worried..maybe slightly. Confident that he will be able to look after himself..mostly. I am a bit disappointed that neither hubby or I get to see Dylan play in these brilliant games. But over all happy and proud that he get an incredible opportunity like this

Of course they will contact us if there is an emergency..and the coaches we know really well and they really care for the boys and want the absolute best for them. Cambridge is well known for their nurturing style and care for the boys in different levels of training. And from what we have seen in the Academy they really look after the boys. A few weeks back the Academy boys were invited to have a player experience at a Cambridge United game. They got to meet the manager Shaun Derry, the CEO and all the first team players. Us parents for to meet the CEO and had a chat to him about the importance of their youth development. Then at half time our boys went on pitch and played a 10 minute game in front of a big home crowd. A brilliant experience which just demonstrated their intentions with the boys.

How Does Dylan Feel?

When you speak to Dylan about going away for 3 days he is so excited. He cannot wait to miss 3 days of school (!!) all approved as classed as educational time off;-).  He cant wait to spend most of 3 days playing football, talking football, thinking football! It is such an amazing opportunity we are incredibly proud of him to have made it to this level. But he is growing up at such a young age..its scary.

So he goes off with a list of instructions from mummy

  1. Don’t lose anything – he has already lost 2 jumpers and 1 footy skin, so I’m not sure this will be adhered to!
  2. Don’t use too much gel in your hair, every day I have to de-gel his hair from overuse.
  3. Wear clean socks every day, he has a tendency of re-wearing socks day after day.
  4. Don’t spend your entire £30 spending money on your first day.
  5. Do have an amazing time, take it all in and enjoy it.
  6. Listen to the coaches and learn as much as possible.
  7. Imagine what life could be like as a real life football player this is as close as it gets at the age of 8.
  8. Play like the wind, stay strong and make your coaches proud.
  9. Make strong bonds with these boys as you will be spending a lot of time with them over the next year.

Here’s to our brilliant son Dylan who makes us so proud.

2015-07-26 13.01.59 2015-07-26 13.03.59

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Lynn Beattie

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2 Responses

  1. What a good read i can relate to your situation as my boy aged 7 is at derby academy with the hope of signing next year good luck in the future with what ever happens.

    1. Thanks Simon! Oh Dylan U11 played Derby on Sat 5th May!! Good luck with your journey. Its so much fun and an incredible experience no matter how long it lasts.

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