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Our kids are generation of wasters.

SOME of the young players currently polluting the Scottish game really do my head in.

The kind who stroll into the first-team dressing-room as if the game owes them a living, dishing out stick to senior guys and showing no respect.

The ones who spend an eternity at the mirror tending hairstyles The Bay City Rollers sported in the 70s, with blonde tips like a seagull had dropped on them from a great height.

And the multi-coloured boots - all the rage these days but lighter than their empty heads - have zero protection, giving them an excuse to dip their toes into tackles like a Fairy on a trampoline.

They think pulling their socks above their knees looks trendy - but in reality it looks like they're wearing hold-ups.

Their mentality is along the lines of little work and effort equals big gain - but of course it is the other way around.

But I'll tell you what gets up my nose most. They answer back on the pitch, as if coaches and experienced pros give a toss about their opinions.

Of course, there are odd exceptions - guys who knuckle down, listen to what they are being told and actually WANT to be a player.

Take pounds 5million Wilson: the value sensation Danny Wilson for instance. Stevie Wonder could see he had star material when he lined up for Rangers last season.

Danny was like a sponge, soaking up information from Old Father Time David Weir as he settled in at centre-halfs.

But the hard work start now for the Liverpool-bound kid. I'm sure it must be hard as hell not to let 18 grand a week go to your head.

But Wilson aside, the youth of today haven't got a Scooby what it REALLY takes to make it in the game.

I wish I had a tenner for every young kid and their hard-luck tale over the years.

Usually some big bad youth coach or manager took a dislike to them. And it was always their gaffer's fault they got punted out the door.

Most take no responsibility for their own downfall.

Call me old fashioned but I just don't think they make them like they used to. I put some of it down to lack of competitive football early on in the young careers.

Non-competitive football is fine and dandy when they are in their early teens playing with their boys clubs or pro youth teams because skill and development are paramount. But as soon as they turn pro they should have it drummed into them that winning is EVERYTHING because people's livelihoods depend on it.

And that is where the reserve league should kick in.

The old Premier reserve league was the dog's bollocks for everyone concerned.

It geared you up for playing first-team football and allowed kids a chance to play against international-class players who were either out of favour or coming back from injury.

Even the kick-off time programmed young players for life in the first team - every game was at Saturday 3pm and played in a senior stadium.

But the abolishment of reserve football after a half century at the start of 2009 now means young players are training every day with no purpose or edge to their game.

Best they can hope for is the odd friendly or an under 19s fixture against kids they've played a million times as they rise through the ranks.

proves hard work The only alternative to sitting on their SPL team's bench or stand on a Saturday afternoon is a loan spell in a lower league.

Loan deals suit both clubs as usually the loan player's wage is split between them.

But most loans I've witnessed in recent seasons just haven't worked out - and I put that down to ignorance and sheer naivety of the player.

After being incubated in this non-competitive bubble, some kids get the shock of their lives on their first-team debuts when some big hairy a***d centrehalf from Dumbarton or Elgin kicks the beleaguered star of the future up and down the pitch in the hope of claiming a massive pounds 350 win bonus.

After all, winning is the name of the game - and taking three points by hook or by crook will always bring out your natural competitiveness.

If you can't handle that then playing marbles or Kerplunk on a Saturday can sometimes get really heated.

CAPTION(S):

Wilson: Kid proves the value of hard work
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion, Columns
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 25, 2010
Words:742
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