Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

In praise of the players’ player

David ClarkeI hope you are all having awards events at your clubs as the season comes to a close. They’re a great way to wrap up the campaign and for the team as a whole to celebrate their achievements. And because this is done away from the football pitch, it puts an extra gloss on proceedings.

One of the end-of-season honours that I always keep a watch for at our club is that of Players’ Player of the Year.

To be the ‘players’ player’ is always a great honour. It tells a footballer they’ve won the respect of their team mates. And it’s usually won by that same player who has become regarded as the most consistent, trustworthy and level-headed.

Michael Owen revealed on Twitter that Robin van Persie of Arsenal should be PFS player of the year: “Player of the season so far? I went for Robin Van Persie. Stand out winner in my opinion.”

In my Under-10s group, they are now at the age where they have stopped voting for their best friend, and actually give credit to the player who they feel genuinely deserves the award.

And when it comes to writing down their favourite, the response is usually quick – it doesn’t take them long to work out who they think is the best in the team. It’s an exciting time and one that should be savoured. If you’re trying it for the first time this year, then be prepared for a couple of things.

Firstly, will the award be given to the leading goalscorer? Not always. I think some players feel that the strikers gain enough plaudits throughout the campaign! And secondly, the goalkeeper very often goes home empty-handed as well.
This was summed up one year when one of my players expressed surprise when I spoke to the squad about the award and how important it is. After outlining the process of how the players would vote, I added: “And don’t forget the goalkeeper.”A reply came from the back of the group: “Is he a player?”

Watch Robin van Persie scoring goals this season:


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I was looking forward to our presentation day but not so much now . The club my son plays for has 3 awards Coaches Player of the Season , Players Player of the Season and Parents Player of the Season . My son has won all 3 !! I was immensely proud as any parent would be , but the manager has turned round and said that he can only receive 1 of these awards and which one would he like the most . I think I was in shock becuase I said I would get back to him !! I know it is a tricky situation with the Manager maybe thinking about fairness and morale giving 1 player all the awards, but this is an u10 team and the players and parents don’t take voting lightly . Not only am I angry the Manager put me in this situation in finding out which one is valued most I think it is being a bit deceitful to the players and parents who have voted i feel very uncorfortable about the whole thing .Honesty and openess has been the one thing I have always liked about the club and I feel if the Manager goes down this path without informing the parents I will not feel I can trust him anymore . Any advice on handling this situation would be great

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