wamberal99 wrote:shanky wrote: It's the kids who come good at 18-19 who often get missed because they're not 'on the pathway'.
The "pathways" issue gets raised a lot. I have always assumed that if a kid is good enough, and has enough drive, is willing to work hard enough, he (or she) will make it. Mark Nawaqinatawase made it, I do not know his whole story, maybe he had a leg up from someone, but he seems to have been picked for the u20 National team from Eastwood reserve grade? Hardly a gilded pathway, I would have thought. He was playing junior league a couple of years ago.
I dislike all the focus on "the pathway"... there are more and more critics coming out questioning all the effort for so little a 'return' given how so few 'make it' and how many get wrecked by it, physically, mentally or just end up hating the sport, quitting even club sport. This guy must rub sports orgs the wrong way, but speaks a lot of sense to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAytQI-MdvI ... and he's not about 'just for fun' either, if that clip sounds like it. Play properly, make it accessible for all, give everyone the best possible experience and instruction - not just the 'elites' - and talent will find its way.
There's also the "arm's race" of sports focusing on kids younger and younger and trying to capture / keep as many possible to prevent losing a 'gem' to another sport. Look at football clubs with U6 "academy" teams.