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on 19 April 2017
I really liked it because it gives true facts, lots of good coaching facts that and be used in football so I think it deserves 5 stars.
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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2007
I admit I've done it. I ,ve stood on a touchline and shouted as my progeny has run up and down a lumpy field . "Track back", "Concentrate" "Man On", "For gods sake stop calling the ref a W***er and let me do it". All the time I was doing this I was fully cognisant that I was being every bit as idiotic as the other parents screaming their sagacious advice though I don't think I ever descended to the level of the misanthropic sack of s**t who kept advising his lad to "nobble him son".
Jim White would undoubtedly think I was a fool and of course he would be right. This book is an account of a season spent in charge of Northmeadow Youth under 14,s .White has coached the team for six years and his son is in the team .This immediately puts him offside with me as my afore mentioned progeny fell foul of a manager who played his son ( A gangling clueless lad who clearly didn't want to be there)while better players , including my son languished on the touchline much of the time . It's quickly clear though that White , who is also a football reporter for the "Telegraph", is a far more self aware self decrepitating individual than the boss of that team .He calls himself "The part on the sidelines".
So while he obsesses over the performance of the team and their on-going battle against relegation he can still take time to spot the idiosyncrasies of others around him and the minutiae involved in playing football at this level while pertinently realising his own failings .This makes You'll Win Nothing With Kids( Taken from Alan Hansen's infamous remark about a youthful Manchester United side......they won the league that year) a very amusing book and at times an oddly touching one. There is plenty of conflict , especially when the club want to buy a new kettle, plenty of strife -dog turds on the pitch seem to be a constant bane of the low level football fraternity- yet the most salient edge to this book is the bond between father and son as they endeavour to improve the team.
Talking of improving the team White uses his connections within the game to raid the professional arena for advice , chatting to amongst others Brain McClair ,Jose Mourinho( Working with kids is "The purest kind of football work") ,Ron Atkinson, and Bobby Robson .Their advice is surprisingly helpful too as the team go on an extended cup run .He also questions the motives of anyone taking up a coaching role in kids football .Is it an ego thing or a genuine altruistic desire to improve the lives of others?
Anyone who has watched boys football or even more pertinently had their offspring play at that level will recognise the scenarios and characters that imbibe this book with so much colour . Hopefully it may also help one or two recognise how unacceptable and self defeating their touchline ranting is......but I wouldn't bet on it.
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on 9 November 2007
A wonderful book. So funny you will laugh out loud, accurate to the point of seeing yourself in many of the pages, so moving in places that you will consider what you say next time your lad takes puts on his boots. Brilliant.
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on 13 October 2007
Stuck in an airport I raced through this book - a good read. It's funny as the author describes many scenes i've seen at junior football and also quite moving. But more importantly there are sections of this book that should be required reading for all parents (especially the mouthy ones) of kids who play football, particularly for those who despair and rant at goalkeepers.

And I played football against Jim White. And I can confirm, as he admits in his book, he wasn't very good!
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on 23 January 2008
Yes, you! The one that stood still while the other dad's (mum's?) took a step backwards! Or was that a leap!

Having been drawn into the game in the same way as Jim (aren't we all?), and with no previous footballing experience, I can say his observations and comments are spot on. Jim's book captures the bitter-sweet experience of managing a team, and it is a good laugh to boot!
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on 3 October 2010
One of the boys in my husbands football team bought him this book for Christmas.

I laughed, I cryed, I laughed, I recognised my entire family in that book, although my husband seams to think he is not quite as bad as the coach in the book........

Buy it for your son's coach for Christmas is my advice

As for the reviewer who said it was cliched and he used poetic license has obviously not been there life is always stranger that fiction.... I had thought the comments about the boy depicted as having stubble on the U14's was fiction until....

Last week my U7's son played a team with some enormous lad lashing his boots around with joy, I (jokingly obviously!) asked to see his registration cards, and the coach laughed clearly made up with his star weapon/player, apparently he came from Guana and does not know how old he is, even on his passport it is unclear, and they are playing him in his school year within which the coucil has placed him, look out for him, that boy will almost certainly be shaving before his under 13's deubut !
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on 25 January 2008
I coach under 12s, including my son of course, and found it very reassuring and funny to read so many things I went through.
Excellent message for some coaches and parents who may have lost the plot about why kids play football
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on 14 October 2008
I found Jim White's book rather clichéd and predictable. I began to wonder if it would have made a better read if he'd used even more `poetic license.' For that reason the book is not as good as it could have been but readable all the same.

The book made some good observations, however, about youth football in Britain although, in my experience, the antics of most parents I've encountered are not quite as over-the-top as those in the book!

One final question: why is Doug's name suddenly changed to 'Marty' in Holland? Or did I skip a paragraph when that was explained (which has been known)?
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on 2 November 2012
Just Read 'you'll win nothing with kids' and Jim whites got it spot on. I am involved with youth football and have been for over 40 years and this book captures all the ups and downs brilliantly.Poignant, funny, sad, its all there the trials and tribulations of being a Manager at that level. This book sum's up youth football park style so good even the 'funny' bits are so spot on that I laughed with a wry grin, so true.Great read.
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on 11 October 2007
Jim ends his book with this quote from his son which sums up the book.
I am biased because I am a fellow manager in the same city football club. I can assure all readers that the events in the book are true- as a post post script Jim is now not allowed to resign as Chairman unless this book drops out of the top 1000 amazon list so keep on buying it!
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