AGENT JAKE’S ON CASE FOR NEW BLOODS
JAKE SPEIGHT knew he had the negotiating skills to be an agent when he was at Mansfield Town – he got the best deal of his career by himself!
While many players get their coaching badges, the 30-yearold is forging a new life in a different cut-throat world.
When he had his first son, Kobe, Speight – then aged 25 – decided he would retire before he was 30 and have something set up for his future.
So, two days before his milestone birthday, he threw his football boots in the bin to concentrate on the business he’s been building up.
Speight said: “My last deal at Mansfield was, coincidentally, the best one! I remember the assistant manager at the time saying, ‘I wish you’d negotiated my deal’.
“As I was getting older and seeing young players coming through, I started enjoying helping them. Not with the football, but the off-field things.
“When I had Kobe, I knew then that I wanted to have something I could walk straight into. I didn’t exactly know what back then, but something to provide for the future.
“I honestly don’t think I’ll ever put my boots on again. On the Friday I decided to stop, I put them straight in the bin.
“I came out of full-time football a couple of years ago to start it all up, so I’ve integrated myself in slowly and built the foundations.”
His agency – Fifteen Eleven Management – already boasts 27 players and managers from League One down. In a 15-year-career that started at Sheffield United, Speight has experienced all the highs and lows of football and life.
And he thinks it leaves him well placed to give the best possible advice to young footballers trying to find their way in a tough business.
“In my career I’ve had that many low points, I’ve probably made every mistake a footballer can, so it’s turning that into a positive,” he said.
“I love the agent side of it – the selling yourself and the negotiating. That’s all good, and what brings the money in, but the opposite side of mentoring players is what I enjoy most.
“Going out, drinking, getting into trouble – I’ve done all that and I wanted to help the players signed with me not to make the same mistakes.”
Speight acknowledges agents have a stigma, but he’s determined to have a solid reputation and make sure players only move to help their development.
MISTAKES? Speight, seen in his Bradford days, says he’s made them all
ON THE LINE: Speight is now an agent