HERE’S A DEBATE I’LL NOT DUCK OUT OF!
OVER in the States, kids under ten have been banned from heading footballs.
This mirrors a similar ban I’ve imposed on myself for the last 34 years.
To this day, I’ll seek any means possible to duck out of a header.
It hurts, your head gets wet and some big lad invariably clatters you on the way up. When it comes to playing football in the sky, I’m with Brian Clough all the way.
Naturally, then, I’d love to see the UK follow suit.
Mainly because research has repeatedly shown that exposing young brains to concussive forces can damage development.
Even older ones aren’t immune. Just remember the sad demise of Jeff Astle.
But a heading ban would also mean youngsters grew up with no notion of anything but short-range, passing football.
Technique would prevail over size and athleticism.
Neymar, Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez were all raised on futsal, a game with a small, foam-filled ball played almost exclusively on the deck.
It hasn’t done them any harm and it wouldn’t hurt our kids either.
Unlike heading a soggy size five!