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Why full-time football? Charlie Cooke provides his view …

I am Charlie Cooke. I’ve just completed a Foundation Degree in sports science, coaching and performance at Northern Regional College. I am also a massive Coleraine fan and I have volunteered in the Media Team for the past 12 months. Here’s my guide to full-time football……

In semi-professional football, generally teams train together two or three nights a week. This schedule of training means that players can have careers outside of football. Full-time football means that players are making football their career.

Transitioning to a professional full-time football model takes time and some would say that making the change in the space of six to eight months is extremely ambitious.  There has to be a lot of change in a short amount of time not just player recruitment but a whole restructuring of the club as we know it including the appointment of Dean Shiels as head coach and Oran Kearney moving to be the new sporting director role. The changes are to provide long-term stability and planning by separating the roles into responsibility for on-field now and on-field in the future.

There are several key facets to professional football which makes it not an option for everyone as we’ve seen recently with some departures from the club. Being a full-time professional footballer does not particularly work for everyone. It can be affected by what stage you are at in your career.

Full-time football offers the chance for players to be training, be coached and preparing seven days a week. It requires a full focus; any spare time being used for rest and recovery.

A model of recruiting players that already have experience in the professional game is one priority.  Signing young players who have their careers ahead is a second priority, Finding a blend of experienced players and players with the potential to grow and develop and to be a main stay of the first team into the future is the balance to be struck.

With the implementation of a full-time football model there can be greater emphasis and focus on nutrition and fitness so that the benefits of every day coaching can be properly executed on the pitch and seen by fans in the performance of the players.

There is no doubt that the change to full-time football can be a great development for the club. It involves change. Change can be frustrating but as a club, we embark on this journey together.