LEVEL-HEADED JACK AN EX­AM­PLE TO ALL

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY -

WHEN I walked into the door at Peter­bor­ough, I in­her­ited Jack Col­li­son.Now Jack is only 27 years old. With 105 ap­pear­ances for West Ham and with 17 Welsh caps un­der his belt, Jack ought not to be in League 1. How­ever, an hor­rific knee in­jury re­stricted his ath­letic abil­i­ties, such that he has had to drop a cou­ple of lev­els to com­pete.

On the one hand, that could be a tragic story. But trust me, Jack is not a man who would ever play his part in a tragedy.

He has opened his own soc­cer school, where kids can learn his philoso­phies on foot­ball, and be­gun down the coach­ing road by man­ag­ing our U21s. I watched them beat a strong MK Dons team 61 in mid­week and the foot­ball and mo­ti­va­tion on dis­play was won­der­ful. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, Jack re­mains an in­te­gral part of our squad. In two re­cent wins against Millwall and Swin­don, I sent him on to keep the ball, add some con­trol and bring the game home. He did both jobs in the way that an ex­pe­ri­enced in­ter­na­tional player can.

Jack doesn’t talk about his past. It speaks for it­self. He lives for to­day and to­mor­row. He doesn’t dwell on his mis­for­tune. He em­braces the re­al­ity of the present. He is an ex­am­ple to all and he de­serves recog­ni­tion for be­ing a very fine man. Par­ents will look to his soc­cer schools with se­ri­ous in­ter­est, be­cause foot­ball de­vel­ops the hu­man be­ing not just the sports per­son. And Jack will teach chil­dren some very im­por­tant life skills. That is for sure.

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