Football friends: adolescent boys’ friendships inside an English professional football (soccer) academy

Authors: Adams, A. and Carr, S.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29234/

Journal: Soccer and society

Publisher: Frank Cass Publishers

ISSN: 1466-0970

DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2017.1331164

This qualitative research draws on data from semi-structured, in-depth interviews to examine the friendships of twelve adolescent (14 and 15-year-old) boys within a professional football club Academy: a setting marked by competition for places. Findings highlight how boys fail to develop ‘deep’ friendships with other boys inside the club; their peer-relationships, even when described as ‘friendships,’ are devoid of trust and emotional intimacy. Instead, ‘being mates’ is experienced within parameters of instrumentalism and individualism leading to superficial and inauthentic friendships. There is some indication that boys developed closer friendships with boys outside of the Academy, suggesting that competition is implicated negatively in friendship-building and hinders the capabilities of these boys to develop close friendships with teammates. Concluding this paper, we acknowledge limitations of our data, discuss implications and challenges for football academies, and highlight directions for future research.

This source preferred by Adi Adams

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Adams, A. and Carr, S.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29234/

Journal: Soccer and Society

Pages: 1-23

eISSN: 1743-9590

ISSN: 1466-0970

DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2017.1331164

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This qualitative research draws on data from semi-structured, in-depth interviews to examine the friendships of 12 adolescent (14- and 15-year-old) boys within a professional football club Academy: a setting marked by competition for places. Findings highlight how boys fail to develop ‘deep’ friendships with other boys inside the club; their peer-relationships, even when described as ‘friendships’, are devoid of trust and emotional intimacy. Instead, ‘being mates’ is experienced within parameters of instrumentalism and individualism leading to superficial and inauthentic friendships. There is some indication that boys developed closer friendships with boys outside of the Academy, suggesting that competition is implicated negatively in friendship-building and hinders the capabilities of these boys to develop close friendships with teammates. Concluding this paper, we acknowledge limitations of our data, discuss implications and challenges for football academies, and highlight directions for future research.

The data on this page was last updated at 04:46 on November 24, 2017.