Young football hopeful Will Hall’s latest lesson in how to cope with disappointment at grass-roots level and keep focusing on the horizon.
Just over a month ago I attended the Junior Premier League representative team trials. It is regarded as where all the best players in the JPL get picked.
There is one trial in the north and another in the south. I went to the one in the south, as I live there. It was a very hot day when I arrived.
We did a few warm-ups to get ready and then went straight into a four-quarter match, with twenty minutes in each one. As this was the second of the two trials, I got to start, because most of the boys there had come from the first trial, including my friend Lucca Toms.
I played every single quarter, playing at centre back for the first two, where I felt I didn’t really get going. I had barely any opportunities to go forward, or start something. When I played balls over the top, my teammates didn’t manage to reach them.
I played left-back for the third quarter and this is where I found space to charge forward and make darting runs. It really helped to play in that position, as I got more of the ball and could use my speed to the full advantage.
Then in the final quarter they moved me back to centre-back, but nothing really happened, as the play just stayed in midfield.
Overall I had two good quarters, the second and third, but it was not to be: they said a week later that I didn’t get in. I did actually feel quite sad, because I wanted to get back into this top or higher level of football and I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
After that though I picked myself up and just decided to keep on going and keep trying to achieve what I set out to do. Now I’m here playing Pompey U14s and next year playing for the U16s at Totton on a regular basis.
Totton have links with mainly Southampton, but also Bournemouth, so I hope it’s a great stepping stone for the future.
One motivation to leave you with: “Never give up on something you can’t live a day without.”