Although the life of a Premier League footballer might seen glamorous to those on the outside, getting to the top often requires huge sacrifices, and one Chelsea player was willing to throw in the towel before he was persuaded against it by his father.
Fikayo Tomori is still only 22 years old and has recently broken through into the Chelsea first team under Frank Lampard, but it was whilst playing at the club’s Cobham training ground after graduating from the centre of excellence, that he hit a brick wall in terms of overcoming belief in his own ability.
“Once I’ve left the centre of excellence, I’m going to Cobham and obviously this is proper Cobham, I’d see Tammy [Abraham] there, Dom Solanke,” Tomori said on Chelsea TV and cited by the Daily Mail.
“I noticed that I couldn’t just pick the ball up and run through everyone. So after that I got back in the car and I told my parents: “I’m not coming back here anymore.”
“It was obviously a level up and my dad said: “No, you’re going to come back.” It wasn’t the fact that he was saying: “You must be a footballer, you must play football,” it was kind of like, you are at a level where you need to challenge yourself.
“There is no point playing with people that you find it too easy, if you come here and challenge yourself you are going to get better and I am glad he had that take on it.’
It’s a fairly safe bet that Chelsea’s fan base will be delighted that Tomori Snr. was able to persuade his son to keep at it.
With centre-back being a position that is notoriously difficult for the top teams to fill, the Blues have a ready-made exponent within their ranks, and how far he can go in the professional game will be another test of his mental strength.