Joe Lolley speaks to iNews
An honest interview from an honest footballer…aint nobody, like Joe Lolley!
‘You need compassion’: Why Joe Lolley is not afraid to be the footballer who talks about austerity, Brexit and the NHS
Having taken an unusual path into football, Lolley has a different perspective to many of his fellow professionals
Joe Lolley didn’t want to play football any more. We have a vision of a footballer’s journey into stardom, and falling out of love with the game doesn’t form part of it. At 16, talented players are supposed to play and play and play and then go home to sleep and dream about playing before restarting the same cycle. How could anyone want out? But Lolley was struggling. At the age of 14, he was an integral part of Birmingham City’s academy setup, rated highly by youth coaches. But growing pains over the course of 18 months pushed him to the fringes of the squad and meant he missed out on a scholarship. He was not released, but the dream hardly looked likely.
“They didn’t want to release me, but asked me to stay back and train with the younger year,” Lolley says. We are sat in his lounge on two sofas. He is in the process of moving from rented accommodation to a new home, but Lolley has made time after training to meet up.
“I was going to sixth form and training with the under-15s in the evening. All my age group were scholars doing training every day. A few months went on and nothing was happening, and nobody was speaking to me. So one day I just didn’t turn up. And nobody ever rang me. I took that as a hint that they weren’t that bothered.”
Having been chewed up and spat out, he needed a break. Lolley went four months without playing football at all, before joining Bromsgrove under-18s, ostensibly to play with his mates. When he subsequently finished school, Lolley went to the University of Central Lancashire in Preston to begin a three-year Sports Coaching and Performance degree. At that point, his only goal was to complete the course. There was no bitterness at a failed football career, because that career had never felt like an option.
Read the full story here – Joe Lolley iNews Interview
CREDIT: inews.co.uk – Daniel Storey