Editor’s note: The following first-person story is a true account of young footballer Dida Alsaffar who is pursuing a career as a professional footballer, hopefully in the Premier League. Later this month he’ll be playing in a trial in front of a Manchester United scout.
Growing up in Scotland had its ups and downs. The biggest down was the fact that my youth career was very stop and start. I know for a fact that if I grew up in London my chances would have increased significantly due to the large amount of clubs and facilities. In Scotland you only have a handful of options and you have to look in the right places, let alone get the right development you need. Eventually I branched out and thus the dream is becoming a reality.
I am currently 21 and offers are beginning to arrive, with one of the most eye catching coming from a college in the US who are willing to offer me a scholarship, which will potentially conclude with me entering the Major League Soccer draft system. The latter is very enticing, however, I feel that I will miss a couple of years of key development; this will undoubtedly affect my dream of playing with a top club in Europe. So, the race is on to find a club, until my scholarship takes affect in September. I feel I have all the right attributes; I just need to convince clubs that I am capable enough to perform.
Since the start of the summer I have been in pre-season mode. I don’t know how much running I have done, but it possibly equates to a journey from Edinburgh to London! Whether its long distance or short distance; I have been trying my hardest to knock down my times. To be honest, that only covers one attribute and that’s stamina. The latter is obviously not enough to merit such claims; techniques, skill, agility, pace and acceleration have all been thoroughly studied and digested. I have played 10 games this season and amassed 13 goals through various football clubs and various 11 a-side matches. Every match I have played, I come back feeling stronger and faster than before, waiting for the midfield to feed my striking instincts. I have always been a goal scorer since my youth days; I racked up about 70 goals in no less than 100 games. As you can gather, all this work without a club can leave someone living like a monk; however, I take the occasional day off to have my fun. I am human after all.
In addition to this my development has been blessed with learning different types of ways to play the game. In Spain I learned to use my technical abilities a lot more whereas in the UK I learned to use my physical attributes. Having both will undoubtedly help me in my quest and increase my chances as the best players adapt to different challenges that are thrust upon them. I have always done that and I am determined that I can find the right club that I can showcase my qualities to.
The world of football is fascinating and yet a bit crazy right now. Football is so in demand that I don’t blame clubs for turning a blind eye on me. Yet I know that I will find the right club and then I can show my qualities to everybody. My experiences in Spain, England, Scotland and the UAE will prove pivotal to this as it has made me a better footballer as well as a stronger person.
Over here in London I have everything at my disposal, whether its knowledge or facilities I have everything. I know how to train, how to eat and how to look after myself. Of course you have to back that up with ability and one day I will be prove that I have this and hopefully this will be in the near future.
It’s arguably the mental side that separate the best and confident players will flourish, especially a natural goalscorer such as myself. Physically I am so very ready so why shouldn’t I be confident of my abilities and myself? I have had good feedback from various clubs in the last couple of months and all I need to find is the right (forward thinking) club for my ambitions and requirements as a footballer.
Currently we have one big club in the pipeline and let’s hope it pans out! My representatives’ phone has been ringing frequently to find the right club and it’s like we get somewhere, but then we fall at the last hurdle. However, the last couple of weeks have been positive and I am quietly confident that something will happen. Surely someone will be willing to watch me play and then the rest is up to me.
I am not attached to a club and I am therefore a great future asset, to put it in layman’s terms you don’t have to fork out 35 million pound to get me!!
I hope that this has been an enjoyable read for you guys and your feedback is more than welcome. You can follow my day-to-day adventure on Twitter @DidaAlsaffar Thank you for reading everybody and have a great day.