‘You’ve not made the grade, son’: de‐selection and identity disruption in elite level youth football

Brown, Gavin and Potrac, Paul (2009) ‘You’ve not made the grade, son’: de‐selection and identity disruption in elite level youth football. Soccer & Society, 10 (2). pp. 143-159. ISSN 1466-0970

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14660970802601613


The purpose of this investigation was to utilize in‐depth interviews to explore the experiences of young former elite footballers whose respective professional careers were prematurely ended as a consequence of deselection. To this end, the analysis focuses upon (a) the respondents’ development of a strong athletic identity, (b) the impact of deselection on the respondents’ sense of self, and (c) the respondents’ adaptations to life outside of professional football. The results indicated that the development of a strong athletic identity contributed to considerable emotional and psychological disturbances upon deselection, which included feelings of anxiety, fear, depression, anger and humiliation. While the majority of the participants are attempting to build new unified self‐concepts and alternative identities, they were critical of the limited social support that they had received from their respective professional clubs when making the transition out of professional football.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 12:13
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 14:04
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37815

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