The Unsigned Ballerz documentary is now available to watch on Player Impact’s website.
The three-part series has already been viewed thousands of times since it was released exclusively on Metro.co.uk on June 12.
The documentary was part of a collaboration between Player Impact and Metro.co.uk which also featured an article on the current problems free agents face in football.
The film features three players who have been released from some of the country’s most prominent teams; former Chelsea player Ty-Rhys Paul-Jones, 21, ex-Tottenham midfielder Danny Edmead, 16, and former Ipswich attacker Decosta Holness, 22.
All three are still training hard and have not given up yet on their dream of playing for another professional club, but they have found it difficult to get signed during lockdown.
Since restrictions were first implemented in Spring 2020, many young footballers have struggled to find clubs due to the impact on football finances and the international movement of players.
Player Impact spoke to Oshor Williams, Assistant Director of Education for the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), for the feature in Metro.co.uk – Football in crisis: How lockdown is sabotaging our future stars.
He said Covid restrictions had hit under 25 footballers the hardest and it was only going to get worse for them this summer due to the increasing number of free agents on the market.
“We see highly sought after players moving quite easily but those who have got less experience and fewer games under their belt and with no great record of achievement, find it difficult,’ Oshor said.
“I can understand the frustration and the concerns many of the young players who will be entering the market over what they are going to face this year.”
Christopher Winn, programme leader and football business consultant at the UCFB Global Institute of Sport, added Premier League clubs had lost hundreds of millions of pounds due to social distancing rules.
He said: “With little to no subsequent access to stadia throughout the 2020/21 season, a further cumulative £750m of matchday revenue is estimated to have been lost by top-flight teams across the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA club competitions, bringing the total Premier League clubs’ matchday revenue loss to around the £900m mark since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Chelsea, Tottenham and Ipswich academy players reveal in new documentary what it takes to make it
Ty-Rhys Paul-Jones said: “Just never give up because people tell you you’re not good enough.
“If you just keep working hard, being persistent and not minding what people are saying about you, I’m sure you can do it. Whatever you do just stick to it and keep grinding.”
Danny Edmead added: “Make sure you always believe in yourself that’s the most important thing, if you don’t believe in yourself then you won’t get anywhere.
“Make sure you put in the hard work, make sure you’re always training.”
Decosta Holness said: “Stay committed, remain focused. Work on bettering yourself every day and the hard work will pay off.”
Chelsea, Tottenham and Ipswich academy players reveal how it feels like to be released by clubs
Ty-Rhys Paul-Jones said: “After the meeting, I thought to myself on the way back. I thought to myself, I’ve been released by Watford but that doesn’t mean another club won’t want to take me on.
“I looked at the situation as they didn’t want me but who does.
“There are many teams in this country, in different countries that will look at you and think you’re so good.
“I feel like you should accept it and understand that they didn’t like you but that just means it’s time to work even harder and put yourself in a position where you are at a new club and they like the way you play.”
Danny Edmead added: “I’ve been at Charlton, Watford, Fulham and Tottenham and I’ve been rejected by all of them.
“Football’s about opinions, one manager would like you and one manager would not rate you.
“I’m gutted I didn’t get signed, didn’t get a contract but it keeps me going because if I’m good enough for them clubs then I’m good enough.
“That gives me motivation because I know I’ve been at high clubs.”
Decosta Holness said: “It’s horrible, you feel like your opportunity has been missed.
“It’s hard in football, you feel like you get one chance and for me I felt like that was it.
“It really messed with me in my head and it made me think every day. Even in school I was just like you know sitting in class kind of like ‘damn I messed up’.
“But still I never gave up, I will never give up, I won’t give up.
“I still play today, I still keep going, I’m still focusing.
“Probably a bit more now than I was back then. I was so young and just made mistake.”
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