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Sunday, 21 December 2014
Coaching youngsters is the most rewarding part of football, says Sevenoaks coach Micky Hazard PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 January 2012
ICONIC midfielder Micky Hazard says he is enjoying his role as the director of football at Kent Hurlimann Football League club Sevenoaks Town, writes Stephen McCartney.

The former Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Portsmouth and Swindon Town star, who retired from playing professional football in April 1995, drives from his home in Waltham Abbey, Essex to coach the youngsters at the Greatness Park club after accepting an invitation from current under 18 manager Paul Lansdale to coach the kids’.

Sunderland born Hazard, 51, said: “My title is coach and director of football of every team within the club.  At some stage during the course of the season I get to coach our 35 teams, so yes I’m very busy and a long way down as well.”
Hazard, who helped Tottenham Hotspur win The FA Cup in 1982 and the UEFA Cup two years’ later, revealed what he has been doing since his retirement.
“The most rewarding thing that I’ve ever done in football is to work with youngsters,” he said.

“We can all take in the glory of being a player and the things you should’ve won and the glories of the game but the bottom line is there’s no more rewarding experience taking a youngster of the age of seven and turning them into a professional or taking a youngster at 16-17, who has not broken through to the professional game and helping them break through.

“That’s the rewarding part of football.  It’s not winning the League or winning the Cup.  At this (Kent Youth League) level the aim must be to get as many players through to a level where they can play professionally or at a much higher level so that should be the aim.   It’s certainly my aim.”

When asked why he makes the 84-mile round trip from Waltham Abbey to Sevenoaks to coach, Hazard revealed it’s all down to Lansdale.

He said: “I met Paul at a golf day one day and we got chatting and he asked me to do a few sessions.  I did a few training sessions and we got on so well and he invited me to be the director of football of the club.

“We tried to preach the game, a beautiful game, not only teach the beautiful game but get the boys to react in a very professional manner.”

And what does a legendary footballer get up to earn a living after hanging up his boots?

He said: “I’m a part-time, well, I’m a full-time cab driver.  I work three or four days’ a week.  I did the London knowledge not long after I retired from football and that’s what I do in my everyday life.”

Had he been playing Premier League football nowadays, Hazard would definitely not had to work.

One former player who learnt his trade in the Kent Youth League for Maidstone United, defender, Chris Smalling, now picks up a reported £50,000 per week salary at Premier League giants Manchester United.

“I wouldn’t begrudge anyone a penny and I wouldn’t swap my time to be into today’s time,” said Hazard.

“What I will say is I think it’s wrong in the way the game has progressed to players earning such vast sums of money.  There’s people like nurses, who are earning considerable less amounts.  Doctors, people who save lives and careers of old, sick, disabled people who are the real heroes of this world.

“Footballers, we run around, kick a football around and if we’re good at it we become the heroes but the heroes of this world are the people who save lives, give up their lives for the sake of helping someone else’s life.

“In my mind it’s slightly a bit lopsided that the nurse who does the amazing job to save lives, comforting people’s lives, in their wait to die if you like, they’re getting paid, I don’t know what they’re getting paid, £300-500 per week and then someone else is earning more than what they earn in a lifetime, in a week!

“There’s something amiss there and I also believe that not only is it only wrong it affects the people who are being paid that much.

“It’s become such a gap now between the public and the footballers.  In my day for instance we would have thousands of people come and watch us train every day and it’s wonderful to mix with your supporters and to mix with them is wonderful because you made their day, you made their week, you made their year, you made their lives to get your autograph and you stand and chat to them for three or four minutes.  It’s just wonderful!

“I just feel the gulf between supporters and players is so wide nowadays, I don’t particularly like it,” said Hazard, who retired three years’ after the cash-rich Premier League kicked-off.

“It should be such a more closeness or players and supporters because together they can win, help the team play better, be more successful and ultimately any football club is only as good as its supporters.

“If people take their support away then there’s no football club and that’s the bottom line and supporters run football so they should be a very much closer link within the club and its players to its supporters.”

Hazard expressed his future aspirations, saying, “I worked ten years’ in academies after I retired. There was a lot of work involved for very little money and time involved chasing here, there and everywhere so I did my ten-year stint and then I got out.

“I never stopped coaching.  I was coaching youngsters who have come out of the game and trying to get back into the game and I still do that on a part-time basis, while I do this (at Sevenoaks Town) and the cabbing.

“My long term aims is to help youngsters to become better footballers and if that takes them to a higher level when they can earn money or more importantly play with the respect that they should play with, set the right example to youngsters for the future, then I feel like I’ve done a good job and it’s a lot more rewarding, instead of being a player when you solely concentrate on yourself and your team, giving yourself to make other people better is much more rewarding.”

Hazard revealed he is being paid by the youth section at the Kent club.

He said: “I get paid to do my coaching.  Not enough to live on, not enough to retire and not even a weekly wage if you like. I get a fee each week, but that’s irrelevant because it’s not going to make me wealthy.”
Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 January 2012 )
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