Football is a cruel game that can sometimes leave you on the scrapheap.
From a talented youngster touted for greatness to ‘what could’ve been’ is a tale told by many players. So what happens to these young men who have devoted their teenage years to the game only to be told ‘you’re not good enough son.’ For many its a trip down to the unemployment office and a lifetime living with a shattered dream however over in Gibraltar of all places, there just maybe a chance of salvation…welcome to NextStars.
John Gontier is the League Football Education placement coordinator in Spain giving a second chance, development time and “adult matches” to under 18 English players released from English clubs.
His aim is simple, blend English grit with the Spanish way of playing while his idea, noble. He’s just established a a new club in Gibraltar, Europa PointF.C., to be the stepping stone for these young English players and the prize is potentially enormous, a chance to play in UEFA Champions League as Gibraltar has now been granted full UEFA membership as of 24th May, when the majority of the 53 existing member countries voted in favour of Gibraltar joining their number.
“This is a momentous occasion for football in Gibraltar,” said Gareth Latin, former President of the Gibraltar Football Association. “UEFA membership means that we can begin the next chapter of Gibraltarian football.”
Membership will mean that the Gibraltar FA will now be a part of the UEFA family and will be able to offer the Gibraltar football community the best possible future and development needs.
Gontier is confident that his program will be the perfect place to develop future professionals and with Europa Point FC, provide a focal point that will win the hearts and passion of football fans worldwide. After all, who doesn’t love an underdog betting on “giving a second chance” and “making dreams that cross borders come true”.
With a sponsorship deal in the works with sportfolioz.com the future for the club looks bright.
For young players rejected by the English and Spanish system this truly is their chance to become the NextStars.