McGURK AND CO SHOW THERE IS A SECOND CHANCE
MIDWAY through the second half of Burton’s victory over Southend yesterday, some joker decided to make merry with match-winner Adam McGurk’s Wikipedia entry.
“Adam was impressive for Barcelona reserves in the 2006-07 season, making seven appearances and scoring four goals,” said the bio, clearly written by a smitten Burton fan.
Setting aside the fact he would have been just 17,one journalist asked Burton manager Gary Rowett if McGurk had actually graced the Nou Camp.
“Yeah,” said the former Derby man. “In his dreams. He went on holiday to Spain once, maybe played for Barcelona United!”
Rowett’s right of course. McGurk isn’t going to be in the Champions League any time soon. But after being canned by Aston Villa following a serious knee injury and subsequently retiring from football aged just 21, playing at Wembley is no less monumental an achievement.
When you’ve spent your young life outclassing your peers and been tipped for stardom before you’ve even sat a GCSE, suddenly being on the scrapheap must feel like Armageddon. Plenty of players drift away. But like Charlie Austin and Antoni Sarcevic – other Football League dropouts who will play at Wembley next weekend – the best find a way back.
It isn’t always glamorous. McGurk slogged away at Hednesford, Sarcevic at Chester and Austin way down with the likes of Poole Town. But they never gave up, trusting purely on their talent to attract attention. Right now, thousands of teenagers are facing up to the misery of being told they won’t be offered a professional deal.
For all of them, the achievements of McGurk, Sarcevic and Austin show that second chances do exist.