Making the step up from 1 level of sport to the next is a big concern for many young sport stars.  Your long term future and destination is something that you need to be aware off.  The issues/problems youare and going to face are no different to problems faced by players your age at any level.  The transition from U19 football to paid men’s football is often seen as a difficult time in young players’ career because you have gone from playing with your peers who are all similar age group to playing in sides that have contain players with a range of ages. 

 

In 6 months time you could be in this situation  but what you need to realise is that is can be done and the problems faced by you are no different from the issues faced by players from the top level to any other level.  Players do step up and there are some examples.  The best one is the Manchester United youth of 1992.  This team contained players such as Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ben Thornley, Chris Casper and Keith Gillespie.  A large portion (five) of this team went on to be very successful and went on to win the clubs 2nd double in 3 years with Alan Hansen famously declaring "You can't win anything with kids".  So it can be done!  There are numerous other examples. 

 

Teams in this league will be the next step up but you have in abundance the things listed below, with the most important being ‘Don’t give up’ so you will have to work hard and wait for your opportunity.  Getting paid for doing something that you enjoy is something that most people would love to have the opportunity to do.  From here it is still possible to get the opportunity to play league football.  Examples of players that have done include Freddy Eastwood and Ian Wright, both were playing non league for many years before being snapped up by league clubs.

 

What’s needed to step up?


Don’t give up
If at first you don’t succeed try try and try again!  This goes from the small the major.  For example chase down balls – people will notice and could work in your favour.

Hard work
– Work hard in training and games.  Be the first into training and the last out, coaches love hard workers.  Tommy Spurr from Sheffield Wednesday is a great example.
Believe – Believe in yourself and your ability.  This confidence will could give you the edge in trials, games etc

Luck – Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time.  For example a club might be financially struggling so might need to give younger players a shot.