Out & About North Surrey, March - April 2021

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DORKING WANDERERS FOOTBALL CLUB

AN INTERVIEW WITH

Jordan Clark Director of Football and Education at Dorking Wanderers Football Club, Jordan Clark gave us an insight into what it is like being part of one of Surrey’s best up and coming football clubs around. By Pia Talbot

How have you been coping over lockdown? ‘Lockdown has been very difficult in so many ways, but it’s also been enlightening in others. Difficult because I’ve not been able to fulfil my role as I’d like, both on and off the field, so on the grass and in the classroom and also, it’s taken away a lot of the daily activities in my life which have been hard. Things that you take for granted, like going to a soft play with my sons or something like that, it’s the little things that you usually do, going for a coffee with friends or stuff like that, those things that have been taken away have been difficult for me because I’m quite a social person, but also it’s been enlightening because it’s shown me what’s important which is, your family, your kids, health, both mentally and physically and why that is so important that you maintain and keep on top of. So, for me, a summary would be that it’s been difficult to manage and take away things from my normal day-to-day life, but also it’s been enlightening to show me what’s really important’.

Why did you choose to get into football and education? ‘It spans back to my early secondary school days, I was a very keen footballer, played at a decent level throughout my career, but I always knew I wanted to be involved in sport from a young age. Early on it was a P.E. teacher and then it was only when I started to do one of these programs when I got to sixteen, looking at what I wanted to do next, one of these programs came up at my school and I did it for three years. Throughout

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my three years there, it was the best time of my life and I enjoyed being educated and training and playing full time and then that showed me and I thought ‘yeah’, I actually want to impact on people’s lives in the same way that my academy manager did and take it further in my own career which lead on to me studying football and education further and now I am where I am today’.

What, in your opinion, makes a great footballer? ‘I think there are a multitude of components, there’s no magic potion that you can put together and that would be a star footballer, so I think some of the key things you would need to consider are mentality, the mindset and thought process around the game is something that, in my opinion, is the most important, so to be able to take on instruction, develop and understand that instruction and put it into practise is probably the key skill. On a football pitch, as a coach and as a player, in my opinion, the most vital skill is observation, so being able to observe an element of the game that then impacts how you then make a decision, both as a coach and as a player, is what makes you either an ok, good or outstanding coach is that observation, obviously you have the physical elements, but there’s no right or wrong, if you look at the two best players in the world in terms of Ronaldo and Messi, physically they couldn’t be any more different, but both outstanding in their own right. Yes, you need a certain physicality, but I think it’s all about mindset, going above and beyond, the mentality, to understand and observe the game and be able to make better decisions based on your observations’.

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