Training for 'Glory', Schooling for 'Failure'?: English professional football, traineeship and educational provision

Parker, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0001-6842-3067 (2000) Training for 'Glory', Schooling for 'Failure'?: English professional football, traineeship and educational provision. Journal of Education and Work, 13 (1). pp. 61-76. doi:10.1080/136390800112231

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English professional football is a highly tenuous and unstable occupation. Because of this the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) have, in more recent years, overseen the establishment and introduction of a series of educational and vocational training packages into the game which have aimed to offer players some kind of safeguard against the high probability of occupational failure. Over the past two decades, many school-leavers, for example, have entered professional football via recognised vocational training programmes-YOP, YTS or YT-schemes which have provided opportunities for individuals to prove their sporting worth whilst fulfilling some form of broader educational pursuit [1]. This article draws on ethnographic research carried out with a group of professional football Youth Trainees during the course of the 1993/94 footballing season. It looks at how notions of 'education' and 'work' represented polarised entities in terms of trainee career choice, and how, as a consequence of this polarity, dismissive subcultural codes were attached to notions of educational pursuit and alternative career planning. The article utilises established research findings within its analysis, (cf. Hollands, 1990; Willis, 1977, 1990; Banks et al ., 1992; Bates & Riseborough, 1993), and in doing so illustrates that, like other occupational spheres, Youth Training in professional football may be seen to carry with it a plethora of assumptions and commonsense practices which collectively ostracise those who wish to supplement their everyday workplace position by pursuing programmes of educational development.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 10:54
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:11

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