A soccer player's remarkable journey to success, nurtured in a pressure-free environment and offers valuable lesson to all parents.
Evan Ferguson, an 18-year-old soccer player, has been making quite an impression in the Premier League this season. He currently plays for the Premier League club "Brighton & Hove Albion" as well as the Republic of Ireland national football team. Even though English football has only noticed him now, the youngster has already been identified as a talented player in the Republic of Ireland for many years. In fact, his talent has caused people to compare him to veteran player Wayne Rooney.
Rooney and Ferguson share a similar career trajectory, with Rooney making his presence known in the Premier League using a last-minute goal for Everton against Arsenal. In an interview with BBC Sport Soccer player says lack of parental pressure helped him develop and it's a message all parents need to hear, his former youth coach, Karl Lamb, said, "I remember the reaction to Rooney and that goal for Everton against Arsenal. I can see that sort of thing with Evan." The coach also remarked, "He is this thing Ireland have been crying out for for maybe 10 or 15 years. In England, it is like 'this lad has come out of nowhere,' whereas in Ireland, it is, 'this lad is the great hope.'"
Ferguson was no stranger to football, as his family had close ties to the sport. His father, Barry, played for some time with Colchester, Hartlepool and Northampton, after which he worked for the Football Association of Ireland. The man took Ferguson to St. Kevin's when he was just four years old. The youngster played a few games for them before moving to England.
Due to Brexit, English clubs have not been allowed to sign players who were from the Republic of Ireland until they were 18 years of age. Thankfully, Brighton was able to sign him because his mother was of English descent. Fergusson always managed to showcase his skills from the moment he played for St Kevin's. He soon received international attention in 2019 when he went on as a substitute for the Bohemians against Chelsea during a pre-season friendly match.
Did your Dad put any pressure on you?— Alan Byrne (@ancoraemparo) September 2, 2023
"Nah, he was one of those who would stand in the corner on the sideline with his jacket on and hood up, saying nothing - that helped me,"
Imagine if we just let the kids play and enjoy their sport!
Parents + Coaches 🤫🤐⚽️🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/cGLyA7Jg5l
@ancoreaemparo recently shared a clip from Ferguson's interview with EA Sports, where he talked about his father's role in his success. When asked if his dad pressured him, he replied that he was present at every game without saying much and that helped him. He mentioned that if he did need help, he would approach his father for advice and he would "know what he was talking about." He concluded by saying that his father never pressured him throughout his career.
Just be their biggest fan, no matter what level they play.— Adam (@Adam_Goldman) September 3, 2023
It's understandable for parents to want the best for their children, especially when it comes to sports. Although, it might push them to pressure their kids to do better, which might not be healthy. Ferguson's father stands as an ideal example of how striking a balance can be beneficial for both parents and children.
A lesson to quite a few parents there, don’t put pressure on your kid to do something you didn’t. Let them enjoy, develop and thrive.— AFC Dan (@44Djt) September 3, 2023
His tenure with Brighton began in 2021 and he went on to sign a contract with them till 2028. Lamb spoke about Ferguson's decision to join Brighton, saying, "It is an example of how smart he and his family are that once he went on trial with Brighton, he loved it. I think, if any massive clubs had come back in, he'd still have chosen Brighton."