Coaching and community involvement
“It gave me something else to focus on... and it brought my confidence out a lot.”
Before he began working for Vi-Ability, Alex had difficulty coping with the psychological impact of being released by Crewe Alexandra, where he had been a young professional.
“I found myself not really wanting to do much. To be honest, my ego took a big blow.”
“It got to the point where I was struggling to sleep, which then made me not want to get out of bed during the day.”
“I dropped a stone and a half in weight. I was probably suffering from a little bit of depression at the time.”
He then met with Vi-Ability’s Darren Cartwright and Kelly Davies to discuss his future.
“At the time I genuinely didn’t know what I was going to be doing.”
“Basically, Kelly sat me down and told me the opportunities that Vi-Ability could give me, whether it be a coaching role or going into the business side of sports clubs.”
Alex had already done some coaching badges during his time at Crewe and started out by helping at one of Vi-Ability’s summer soccer camps.
“Initially, it got me out of bed and out into the world meeting new people.”
He was also given the opportunity to explore some of the business aspects of football before becoming a full-time community coach, a role he relished and excelled in.
“It opened my eyes up, really, to what it was like to go into schools and the different variety you’d get in terms of people to coach and try and help.”
“It was helping me come back out of my shell and lift my chin up and stop feeling sorry for myself.”
With his confidence restored, Alex eventually secured the chance to return to the Football League as a player with Fleetwood Town. He is aware of the temporary nature of life as a professional footballer and is thankful for the skills he was able to develop while at Vi-Ability.
“I could go and play tomorrow and come out of a bad tackle worse off and not play ever again. It’s nice to know that I have the skills and professional ability I gained at Vi-Ability to back me up in the future.”