Alex Riley takes two young rookies into the workplace. Freya and Chitua visit a professional football club where they are put through their paces by the coaches.
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Are you fanatical about football?
Are you keen to make it in a super tough profession?
Well, let's get the ball rolling as we find out what it's really like
inside the professional game and what's needed to make the grade.
Well, enough of my silky skills.
We're about to put Chitua and Freya through their paces
at a professional football club.
We'll test out their technique in training
and see how they perform under pressure during a match.
They'll also talk tactics with an experienced player turned manager,
which is handy, as one wants to be a player
and the other wants to become a manager.
But are they hot prospects
or are they merely going to be benchwarmers?
Let's find out as we go All Over The Workplace!
We're about to meet a young footballer who wants to
bend it like Beckham, and a wannabe football manager who wants to
win more silverware than Sir Alex Ferguson -
two rookies with two massive ambitions.
I want to be a footballer.
I can play on my right foot but I'm more confident on my left foot.
I try to keep my football life and my school life separate.
I still focus on my work and get my head down,
but I do love football, obviously.
I'm a very determined footballer and I want to get where I want to be,
which is to be a professional footballer and play for England.
I want to be a football manager.
My plan is to become a professional footballer.
Once I've retired I want to be a successful manager.
I watch a lot of football and assess the different formations
and positions that people play.
I think I could be better than Cristiano Ronaldo.
I can't wait to show you what I'm made of.
Freya and Chitua think they're dominant on their home turf,
but how will they handle away games?
They've travelled to Ipswich to team up with Alex.
Now, I hear that you guys want to make a career
-in professional football.
-Now, what do you love about football?
I've always wanted to do something that I love when I'm older
and I love football,
so it would be nice to go to work every day and enjoy it.
-And what about you, Chitua? You want to be a manager?
Why do you think that would be a great thing to do?
Because I'm always watching football and I always want to experience,
like, playing the tactics on my team and leading them to success.
Right, OK. That's what you think, here's what your parents think.
Freya's football mad, I think it's always been that way,
I can't think of a time when it wasn't like that.
Losing isn't really in Freya's vocabulary.
She doesn't like to lose.
He just loves athletics and loves football.
He's very charismatic, even with his mates. They listen to him.
-He's a leader.
-When Chitua doesn't win a game, he can be quite moody.
So, Chitua, you are a leader who doesn't like to follow others,
but will you be prepared to take the advice of the experts?
If it's good advice, then I'll take it.
But if it's advice when I don't need it, then I won't take it.
OK, you know your own mind, it seems.
And Freya, you're a bad loser.
Now, in football, there's going to be games that you lose
and you've got to keep positive and keep going.
Will you be able to do that?
Yeah, I'll just try my hardest in every game and bring
-the right attitude to each game.
-Well, that's enough chatting.
Let's go and see what we're going to be doing.
Being a professional footballer looks like a brilliant job.
You just have to kick a ball around for 90 minutes.
Of course, you need to be physically fit
and have the right skills to succeed.
What's she doing down there?!
Right, here we are at Ipswich Town Football Club.
Now, you probably think you're going to be playing football.
Well, you're kind of right, but there's a lot more to it than that.
So come on, let's go inside.
Rookies Freya and Chitua are going to
run out at the home of Ipswich Town.
Ipswich sprang to life in 1878 and they are still the only
professional football club in Suffolk.
The pinnacle of their long history was in 1981
when they lifted the UEFA Cup.
In their heyday they won the League Title, as well as adding
the FA Cup to the trophy cabinet.
Simon Milton is a bit of a legend at Ipswich Town.
He's been at the club for over 28 years, 12 as a player
and 16 since hanging up his boots.
He's now a club ambassador and loves nothing more than watching
young talent developing through the ranks into first-team players.
Simon, what would your top three tips be for becoming
a professional footballer?
There's the technical side, which means your talent,
how good you are and making sure you practise constantly.
Then there's the physical side, which means you've got to be fit and
strong, you've got to be healthy, you've got to eat the right foods.
And then there's the mental side - even at this age
they've got to get their head around the fact that they'll be trying to
become professional footballers and have the discipline that you need.
Talent - this isn't just about natural ability.
You've got to practise regularly to refine your skills.
Physique - a well-planned training regime and diet
are critical in developing into a top player.
And discipline - becoming a professional footballer
means giving up other aspects of your life,
so you really have to be in it to win it.
How many nights a week do you train?
The Academy boys and girls, we see them four times a week,
so we see them midweek and we see them at weekends.
The first team will train just about every day.
When you're playing games on Saturday, Tuesday,
Saturday, Tuesday, they don't get many days off.
Is it like a squad rotation or do you have,
-like, a set time for when people play?
-That's a really good question.
The players just want to play.
If you look around here and the kit that's laid out here,
there's 21 names.
There's only 11 that start the game, there's then seven that are
substitutes and every single one of them wants to play the game.
The manager will pick the team based on what he's seen in training
all week, based on what he saw at the last game
and also looking at the opposition.
But all the players arrive for every game hoping to play.
Football is the world's most popular sport.
About 1 billion people tuned in to watch the 2014 World Cup final.
That's the equivalent of filling Wembley Stadium 11,000 times over.
Chelsea's ex-manager Jose Mourinho was the highest-paid
Premiership football manager in the 2014/15 season,
earning a whopping £12.7 million.
The highest-paid player is Cristiano Ronaldo.
He banks a mind-boggling £60 million a year.
Lend us a tenner, Cristiano!
Mrs Graham's XI from Stirling in Scotland are thought to be
the first women's football team in Britain, and sparked riots
after they beat England 3-1 in their second ever match in 1881.
Now there are more women playing than ever before,
with a 54% increase in registered female pros since the year 2000.
Mark Kennedy enjoyed a successful playing career,
with time at Liverpool, Man City, Cardiff City and Crystal Palace,
as well as playing internationally for the Republic of Ireland.
He's now responsible for developing young talent,
as he's the under-21 manager at Ipswich Town.
So Mark, what are your top three tips for becoming
a professional footballer?
OK, number one, you have to enjoy every day.
Enjoy what you're doing, enjoys your training.
Number two, you've got to practise very, very hard every day,
and number three, which is really important, don't ever waste a day.
Enjoy every day - great for team spirit and drive.
Practise every day - after all, practise makes perfect.
And never waste a day - if you don't work hard,
you won't develop as a player.
So what have you got in store for Freya and Chitua?
OK, we're going to do a passing drill which will concentrate on all
the little things that players take for granted,
like being side on, looking over your shoulder, your forward touch.
Two balls we're working, OK? Away you go.
Pass and follow. Back to Chitua. Lovely, really like that, well done.
Well done, Freya. If we can go left foot, right foot,
right foot, left foot.
Well done, Chitua. Well done, Freya, really good, Freya, I like it!
Passing is an essential part of playing the game.
Professional football players often practise drills like this
to brush up their technical skills and improve their sharpness.
Wait, wait, there you go! And I'll come in and close you down...
Oh, no, you're gone! Well done.
Good stuff. Well done, Freya.
I'm coming to close you down, I'm coming to get you, Chitua!
Well done, you got there, you beat me.
Is that you, Freya? Well done! I like it!
A little nice sharp one and I'll come to close it down
and you've gone again, well done.
I'm coming to close you down, Freya!
Oh, and there you go, you beat me, lovely.
You've pulled off, I've come to close you down,
oh, well done, I like it.
After an impressive looking training drill, a few first team players
have dropped by for a chat with the rookies.
So that was just one small session you've done there.
We're in usually four or five days a week,
practising all different exercises like your passing drills,
your shooting drills. It can be quite tough.
-So have you got lots more energy?
-You sure you can do that four or five times a week?
Freya and Chitua are both 12. Freya wants to be a player.
Chitua wants to be a player and then he wants to be a manager.
Have you got any advice for them at this stage in their careers?
Just never give up.
Yeah, always give 100%, always believe in yourself.
If you don't work hard and make the most of every training session
or every time you play football, then you are basically throwing away
your talent, because 90% effort is 100% failure.
-What do you think about female footballers?
-Why not? It's great.
Watched a lot of the World Cup in the summer -
you look like you wouldn't go out of place there,
you look very good.
Hang on, I think the manager's shouting for you.
I think that's it.
Come over here!
The assignment was really fun
because Mark was a really good coach.
I learned from Mark just to never give up, and even if you slip back
at one point, you've got to get up and try again.
Meeting the first team players was really nice as they were really
friendly and, like, they told you never give up
because one of them got released but then he kept on playing football
and never gave up and he ended up at Ipswich.
Hello, Freya. So for you today, I was very impressed with
your left foot. You've got an excellent left foot and that was
a pleasure watching you. But what I'd like you to do is
to concentrate a little bit more on your right foot,
so keep working every day on the left, but we don't forget about
our right and then we'll have a very, very good two-footed player.
Chitua, yours was really easy today, I thought you were technically
very good with both feet, so I want you to continue doing that
and my only little thing, my little add-on, is that you've got
an excellent first touch.
Can we complement that by putting the ball in the back of the net?
My tips to young footballers would be practise hard,
enjoy the game, try and dribble a lot, pass the ball, enjoy it.
My advice would be, never cut any corners,
always give your best, but more importantly, just enjoy it
cos it's a game of football and it's fun.
Andy Liddell is Ipswich FC's fitness coach.
During his playing career he played for Wigan Athletic
and Sheffield United amongst others.
But now he's responsible for the Ipswich Town squad's fitness levels.
He needs to keep them in tiptop condition throughout the season
and that's not only about exercise.
How important is the food to a professional footballer?
Well, it's massive.
The players burn a lot of calories when they're training and playing,
there's a lot of matches, so they need fuel to recover from the energy
that they're using, and that's where the diet comes in, really.
This is lunch, so what would be the first thing you do think you
would like to eat for lunch?
-It's quite a slow release energy.
Pasta is fantastic because it's full of carbohydrates and the
players burn a lot of carbohydrates, so it's the main staple of the diet.
-There's other things like protein, which is the...
When you're playing football, running around a lot
and playing games, the muscles are getting really damaged
and need repairing and you can repair them with rest
and you can repair them with recovery,
but you can also repair them with foods like fish and proteins.
-Do you eat that?
-Do you eat that?
-Cos they're fatty.
-Because they ARE fatty, yeah.
Would you have maybe a fruit for pudding, over the chocolate?
-Because you're getting good vitamins out of them as well,
that's fantastic. And the potatoes as well.
How fast do you think you should have something to drink after you've
-finished a match?
-Quite soon after.
-Yeah. Straight away,
cos you could lose anything between 1.5 and 2 kilos
in a match. A lot of that is fluid, so say you've got a one-litre bottle
of water, how many of those do you think you would need
-to drink afterwards?
-Between one and maybe two.
Yeah. Two to three, maybe.
-During the match, do you think it's good to drink?
-Take little sips.
Yeah, take little sips, yeah, perfect.
I'm actually feeling a bit peckish now.
Thank you very much for that, that's very interesting.
Obviously there's more to football than just kicking a ball around
and eating the right food, isn't there?
Let's go and see what else we can find out.
-See you later.
-Thanks very much.
Any young kid who has got aspirations of being
a football player, it's now, at 12 years of age,
that you have to make sure that you start to eat properly,
live properly, sleep properly, rest properly, and again, work hard.
Mick McCarthy is the manager at Ipswich Town.
He moved into management after a career
playing for Man City, Celtic and others.
Mick has managed for both club and country, and even led
the Republic of Ireland into the last 16 in the 2002 World Cup.
What would your top three tips be for becoming a football manager?
I got my first job when I was 32,
and the best thing I ever did was get a good assistant.
That was Ian Evans, known as Ian "Taff" Evans.
Just slightly older but more mature and somebody who can just
pull you back now and again.
Go and do all your coaching badges,
that's very, very important. Be very diligent in that.
If you get the job, you've got to manage everybody - manage above you,
which is your chairman or your president or your owner,
you got to manage all your staff, you got to manage all your players
and I would say, be approachable to everybody, have a bit of empathy
with them, have a bit of feeling for them,
cos they'll all work hard for you.
What advice would you give to your 12-year-old self?
Probably do better at school, I think.
I think I spent too much time trying to play football.
Hey, look, it's turned out good for me.
But I can tell you, hundreds of children go every year,
coming in at eights, nines, tens
and there's a cull almost at eight, nine, ten,
11, 12, until 16, until they come into my office and we sign them,
and 18 still I might let them go.
So to myself - do better at school, be better with your education.
-What's the hardest part of being a manager?
And dealing with everything after losing.
When we're winning, you just come into work,
everybody's got a smile on their face, nothing seems to be
a chore, the players come in and everybody is chirpy and full of it.
When we're losing, it is the polar opposite.
So the toughest part is when we've lost, and trying to be
all those things that we are when we're winning.
Do you have any superstitions?
I always say no - touch wood.
What's your favourite formation?
Go on, then, you be the blues then and put the 4-3-3 there for me.
-Probably like that.
-Yeah? And what's your favourite formation, then?
Mine was 4-3-3.
So I'll ask you, then, Freya.
If that's me and you managing the blues,
do you think we might be a bit wide open in the middle of the pitch?
I know, because then if they get the ball into this space, then yeah.
But they've also got the support at the back,
-so just bring them in a bit.
-If it was me...
I'd have them probably there and these would start up here.
And maybe come and play in here with the centre forward,
-is that where they'd be?
And so, Chitua, you want to be the manager.
How are you going to play against your 4-3-3?
I'd push that up there and then him there.
And if he's playing here, then, for the blues,
is a centre back going to look after him?
-Yeah, centre backs are going to come inside.
-So we play 4-4-2.
I wonder where you think you can hurt us.
-Him to push up here...
..and then him to give him support with the left-centre mid.
-And then him to push up there, then him giving him
support with the right-centre mid, then he would be here.
That's your centre forward.
Move into the centre box and then the sitter would, like,
control the centre, watching those two.
And then they would push it a bit.
Well, you got a team that works hard, then, haven't you?
You're doing OK.
Football is risk versus reward.
You have to be adaptable and flexible and so...
"What I wanted to do today is not working,
"I'm going to have to change that."
So I've set up a final task for you.
There's going to be a game - you're going to be playing left-wing.
Chitua, you're going to be managing.
Good luck with the game, managing.
-And good luck with the game with playing.
And before you go, we'll go down to the boot room.
Do you know what we're supposed to be doing?
-Pick a pair of boots and follow me.
-We're not cleaning them, are we?
-Part of paying your dues?
OK. Give us a brush, then.
How often do you have to clean the boots?
Whenever the boots are worn, after a match day,
they would come back on the Saturday, and on the Monday morning
we'd be in to clean the boots and then off into education.
And after every training session, when the players are finishing,
we come in - before we go to lunch we'd have to clean the boots again.
Yeah, this is an everyday occurrence for us, water in the face.
All down your legs, it's never nice.
I've been at the club for seven years,
I was under-11s when I joined.
And so what happens next for you?
Either I'd get a third-year scholar,
-a professional contract or I'd be let go by the club.
All right, brilliant, thank you very much.
The assignment is a brand-new experience to me
because I haven't looked at formations that deeply before.
When Mick told me about my last assignment about playing
a match and Chitua being the manager, I got really excited,
because we get to play some football and Chitua can have a go too.
The best thing has been meeting Mick, as he told me
the different formations that he would choose and the one
he likes the best, and what he would do in different scenarios.
I had to think on my feet and think about the different things
I would do in the positions that I'd put certain people.
Freya, I can quite clearly see you have a love for football.
I love the fact that you're flexible,
left-wing going on the outside,
right-wing going on the inside with your left foot,
and understanding actually the game, so stay with it, enjoy it
and I wish you the very best of luck
and I hope you become a pro player with somebody.
Chitua, quite clearly you have a grasp of the tactics
and you know what you want to do.
If you ever do get a job as a manager,
you need to know what you want, then you need to implement it
and get other people in who can implement it for you.
And I think if you take that into your career,
hopefully as a footballer like you want to play
but then as a manager, then you'll have a good chance
and I wish you well with it.
Football is an enormously complex world.
Along with the millions of amateurs and professionals who actually play
the game, an army of people work in a huge variety of associated jobs.
Take the nutritionist.
You are what you eat, you know.
It's no secret that eating the correct food can make
the difference between failure and success.
Stamina and power can be increased
by eating the right things at the right time.
Agents now play a huge role in most sports.
The agent will negotiate contracts on behalf of the sporting staff
to get the best deal.
Top football clubs also employ scouts.
They get their name because they scout out top up-and-coming talent,
so they need to have an eye for potential.
Oh, aye. He looks a bit tasty.
Boss, I think I've found that midfielder you're looking for.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hi, my name's Rachel Yankey, and I play football for Arsenal
My three top tips for being a football player are one,
make sure you enjoy yourself.
You've got to have fun on the football pitch.
Two, work as a team.
No matter whether you win or lose, you've got to work together.
And three, make sure you stay healthy. Keep yourself nice and fit.
Good luck, guys!
It's nearly time for the big match,
and who better to give our rookies some words of wisdom than
ex-Northern Ireland international Bryan Hamilton?
After a successful career as a player, he turned to management
and managed sides including Norwich and Leicester.
He even managed his national team, Northern Ireland.
He's been in the football business for over 50 years,
so he knows a thing or two.
Bryan, what three top tips would you give our rookies for becoming
a professional footballer?
Well, I think being a professional footballer is the best
job in the world, and I think you've got to start off by really
loving the game.
You've got to love playing, you've got to love training,
and then once you've got that love and passion for the game,
you must never stop improving.
You must want to work, you want to practise,
you want to keep improving. You want to be the best you can be.
It's a fantastic profession,
and you'll love being a professional footballer.
There are your top tips for playing?
What are your top tips for managing?
Management is all about winning matches, so help the player is the
first part, help to create a team, and then get a winning mentality.
OK, so, Freya, you're going to playing in the final match.
We're going to manage.
I'm going to meet with Chitua and we're going to see you here,
so Freya, you go off to the dressing rooms, get ready.
Remember what you've learned.
Lots of good stretching. Make sure you're ready to play.
Chitua, let's go and get this team ready.
As Freya's getting kitted up, Bryan and Chitua talk tactics.
Tonight's match is a seven-a-side, so they'll need to
take that into account when picking their formations.
-Hello, ladies. You ready to play?
Let me introduce you to your manager tonight.
This is Chitua, and he's going to turn you into a world-class team.
Over to you, Coach.
OK, so the formation we're playing to day is a 2-3-1.
So we're going to have two defenders, three midfielders
and one striker.
When it's a goal kick, I would like the defenders to go wide,
and then the left wing and right wing to push up
but the centre mid to like, drop in and out,
and then when the opposition have the ball,
if it's their goal kick, I want the striker to push back
on the centre back, and the left wing and right wing stay there,
then the centre mid doing the same position,
-but the centre backs push up a bit.
-I think that's fantastic.
It's given you an idea of what he's wanting from you.
What do we have to do, some high-fiving or fist pumping
or some sort of thing to just get out there and give it everything?
-Wayyy! Come on! Let's go!
REFEREE BLOWS WHISTLE
Make sure you're marked. Keep the ball!
Great pass, Freya!
Keep the ball, keep the ball!
She needs help! Support!
Freya is playing a blinder, and she's grasping the opportunity.
Keep the ball!
Chitua's doing well, too, offering a nice mix of instruction
Just keep on passing, moving.
Once you've made the pass, move, then look for other passes
and have... And just shoot so we can get a goal in the game.
Great half-time team talk from Chitua,
but can Freya and her team-mates convert his instructions into goals?
Looks like that team talk's had an immediate impact!
Freya delivers a cracking ball in from the corner,
for her team-mate to nod in off the bar.
That should please the manager.
Keep going! Keep going!
Keep going! Shoot!
Oh! Unlucky, Freya!
Nearly a dream goal!
Unlucky. Keep going!
The opposition have pulled one back to level the scoring at 1-1.
Two minutes left, girls! Keep going! Get another goal! Win the game!
Come on, Freya, nearly full-time! Could this be the last chance?
REFEREE BLOWS WHISTLE
The match finishes 1-1.
Freya's held her own with a group of girls above her age group.
But what's the gaffer got to say?
Great passes, great crosses. Well done, well done.
Our final assignment went really well.
We came out with a 1-1 draw
and I was the assist for the first goal for our team.
My favourite part of this entire experience has been the last game,
because it was sort of like a celebration from the time
we've had at Ipswich. I know that it's a tough industry
and there's lots of talented players out there, so that might be one of
the hurdles that I'll have to jump over, but I'll get there in the end.
I feel really great about myself, final assignment.
We came out with a draw and we scored a really good header,
and the comments were really nice and I egged my team on.
At the start I was feeling a bit nervous, but once I met all the
players and calmed down, I really felt that I managed the team well.
Everything that's happened at Ipswich has really urged me
to be a manager and really encouraged me.
Freya, I really enjoyed working with you.
I think you've a terrific left foot,
you've a great appetite for the game,
your cross was for the goal, and overall
you've a terrific character and I'm sure you'll be a top player.
Chitua, I thought you did terrific.
Your team, when they started, I thought they weren't really sure
on the ball, but the way you helped them,
the way you encouraged them, I thought you made them
a better team, and I think, overall, possibly deserved to win the game.
They got a 1-1 draw, but your part was very important.
Our rookies have talked tactics with two experienced managers,
they've trained with the pros and held their own in the big match.
But have they got what it takes to make it
in the world of professional football?
Freya and Chitua, you trained with the under-21s today,
who have a lovely level of technical ability about them, and what
I was really impressed with in you two were how you joined in
and fitted in naturally. So it was a pleasure working with you today,
and if you keep on working hard and dedicating yourself ever day,
I look forward to seeing you two on TV one day.
Well, Freya, I thought you played really well in the game.
You've got a great appetite for the game. You can see passes.
You've got a beautiful left foot and you cross the ball so well.
So overall I think you've got great credentials,
and I am sure you'll go on to bigger and better things as a footballer.
Well, Chitua, I thought you did really well.
Your team talk was positive,
you knew the shape you wanted your team to play.
You know what you wanted from each individual person,
and as a coach and a manger, if you can make players better individually
and better collectively, you've done a good job. Good luck in the future.
I look forward to watching you on television.
OK, you two, you've found out loads about
the ups and downs of professional football, so the question is this -
-Freya, do you still want to be a footballer?
-And Chitua, do you still want to be a manager?
Great! Fancy a kickabout?
-CHITUA AND FREYA:
-With you? Nah!
Ever fancied a career in football? Well come join Alex Riley and Freya and Chitua, two rookies who are determined to have a career on the pitch. Freya sees herself as a full-time professional footballer and Chitua wants to be a player before progressing to manager. They visit a professional football club where they are put through their paces by the coaches, then meet the manager to find out all about formations and tactics. They finish with a football match to test their skills in which Freya plays and Chitua is the boss! However the big question is, will they still want to work in football after they've been all over the workplace?