'A player arriving with a Louis Vuitton wash bag pressurises others' - Seamus Coleman offers advice every young player should read
Published 08/10/2016 | 12:59
Republic of Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman has offered a brilliant insight into the pressure young footballers are under from outside influences that have nothing to do with playing football.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail , the Donegal native spoke about the difficulty he had as a young player in settling in at Everton after making his £65,000 move from Sligo Rovers.
Coleman suffered from homesickness but young players also have the pressure of projecting an image of themselves and acting in a certain way.
"I sat in my hotel room that first night and I didn't want to be here,' he said. "Not in terms of the club — I was blessed that a club like Everton wanted me — but in terms of missing home. I found it tough. And I was 20.
"I think a 15 or 16-year-old coming over from a place like Ireland really needs help. They need someone protecting them or looking after them.
"It's a big bad world out there in football and it's easy for a young footballer to be sucked into a certain way of life.
"If I see a footballer with a Louis Vuitton wash bag I wonder what that does to others. If you are the only young lad in the changing room without one then you feel that pressure that you need to go out and get one. Even if you don't want one or even like one.
"That's what I think is wrong with football. It's completely wrong. Your job is to train well and play well on Saturday and do well week in, week out. That's your job. Your job isn't to be going out and buying the best of everything just because someone else is.
"But they feel they all need to have the best because of the pressure. They think they need to look good on their Instagram pictures. They think they have to follow the leader but they are just kids — boys.
"They need protecting, good people looking after them. Parents and agents and people who have their best interests at heart. But sometimes it isn't the case.
"How do you change it? I don't know. I just hate the thought of a young player in a dressing room feeling worried because seven of the lads have something that he doesn't have."
Coleman also explained how he led a solitary life in his first two years in England.
"I did my first two years on my own but then my wife finished her teaching degree and moved over and that made everything easier.
"It gave me a reason to come back from training. Before, I used to come back to the apartment on my own and play my Xbox and go to sleep.
"It's not great, really, just going into your bedroom and being bored. That shouldn't happen, but it does."
Coleman scored his first international goal in the 1-0 victory over Georgia on Thursday night and will lead out Ireland against Moldova in Chisnau tomorrow night.