Book Review: The Footballer’s Journey by Dean Caslake and Guy Branston

By Paul Dargan.

Written by Guy Branston, a professional with 20 years of playing experience and Dean Caslake, a graduate of Bournemouth University who wasn’t able to make the grade in football and wanted to discover why he didn’t, The Footballer’s Journey looks at what it takes to be successful in the game and discovers the various highs and lows of a career.

There’s no messing about here and straight from the foreword by Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock, serious notes are made and it’s start as you mean to go on. Where Ruddock is often known for his hard man image, as well as his laid-back approach to life, he explains what can go wrong and where to learn from mistakes – such as his own – to try and sustain a career within football; if you are lucky to gain a foothold in the sport.

Caslake and Branston have garnered quotes and titbits from some of the UK’s most established football professionals at all levels to prove that no-one just sails into the game and makes a fortune from it. It takes luck, hard-work, determination, a sensible attitude, a good temperament, solidity within a club, assistance from the playing and coaching staff and you making your own luck to succeed right across all of the professional levels in the British game.

Excellent advice is given in many different situations as well as the brief individual circumstances experienced by many players past and present. Footballers are the new rock stars, especially with the vast sums of money to be earned at the elite end of the game, but not every 10 to 16-year-old fully grasps what it takes to reach those upper echelons.

Not every player is blessed with an abundance of talent and players have varying skills and abilities. But at every level of the professional game a willingness to succeed and trust the people in command is required and the player himself needs to take care of his own career, with assistance from those in the know – or at least those who have walked countless miles in those very shoes/football boots before.

Almost every facet of the game is covered and it is a welcome addition to the football literature genre and one which has not really been attempted before. That makes this all the more required and a book which is a must-read for any budding footballer or a player who has successfully secured their first professional contract.

As they explain, you certainly haven’t made it, even if you have your first contract. You need to be that player who doesn’t get complacent and then drop down the leagues, no matter how talented you think you are. Attitude counts for a lot and you need to do whatever it takes to make sure your stay in football is a successful one – relative or not – and listen to the people who are trying to help you.


Read more from Paul Dargan right here!

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