Kolumni: Charlie Day

When I was approached about writing these articles, I was very unsure and nervous about doing it. Sometimes in life you get to a stage where you have to find yourself. I have always done well to both play and coach at a professional level in football, but I feel at this stage in my life, with a beautiful partner and wonderful young family living happily in Seinäjoki, it’s time to test myself outside the comforts of football and find out who I really am.

In my first article I’d like to tell you about one of the hardest working players I have had the pleasure to work with and now be a friend of. I first met Charlie Day back in 2007. He was a young football player in the academy I was coaching in. Charlie had what most young football players think they have: real hunger and desire to learn and be better.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. Charlie has had to come to terms with the fact he dropped out of professional football and the dreams he had as a young child were gone.

In Charlie’s words: “I was totally obsessed with becoming a professional footballer. But life does not always work out how you desire it to and that’s reality. However, it was the same skills that I learnt trying to become a footballer that helped me overcome the depression of not becoming one. Coach, you taught me to be honest and true to myself. If you are not good at something, practice at it. If you say you will eat right, then eat right. If you say you will help someone, then help someone to the best of your ability. You can never control the outcome in life or the cards you are dealt, but you can control the process.”

When Charlie first came out of the professional football environment and started playing semi-professional, he took the decision to start building his life outside football. Charlie did an electrical engineering course and accepted this was something he may have to do for the rest of his life. He excelled in his course and explains:

”It was purely down to the day-to-day habits that I had learnt along my footballing journey. I was never late and was professional in every situation. I was reliable, honest and hard-working for the team of people I was working with and for the company that had given me the opportunity to develop. These were all skills I had learnt in football. Now they were helping me get ahead in my new environment.”

Today Charlie, 25, can look at himself in the mirror truthfully and the person he sees is someone he accepts and can be proud of.

He is currently working in Australia as an electrical engineer. Charlie has a dream once more. To design sustainable electricity systems in poor areas and help under-privileged kids have the opportunity for a better future.

Brian Page

Junior Talent Coach, SJK