31 May

Ex-England youth keeper, 24, retires over social media abuse and pressure

first_imgFORMER England youth goalkeeper Ted Smith has announced his retirement at the age of 24.The shot-stopper – who represented the Three Lions at under 18, 19 and 20 level – featured for Tottenham last summer after he was released from Southend.3 Ted Smith, pictured here in 2015 featuring for England’s U20s, was called time on his career3 Ted Smith struggled with the social media criticisms of being a professional footballerCredit: Press Association ImagesJose Mourinho’s side were said to be close to completing a deal for Smith in January only for the keeper to decide that the pressures of football are not for him.He told the Telegraph: “It wasn’t me. It wasn’t what I enjoyed.“I love the game and the training side of it but when it came to matchday pressures, it was always a bit too much for me. It was a long-time coming but I’m getting my head around it.“In your head you’re telling people that you’re giving up a job that is everyone’s dream. I suppose that is the hard bit.”One of the goalkeepers Smith was usurped by at Southend was fellow academy kid Nathan Bishop, who has since joined Manchester United.The former England Under-20’s progress was hampered by a shoulder injury that sidelined him for 18 months and he revealed that he suffered badly from social media abuse.I tried so hard to go into a game enjoying it but couldn’t. I tried everything. I built up that fear of playing a game for so longTed SmithSmith added: “After a game I’d go back and look on social media straight away and see what people were saying.“For 90 per cent of the time there was nothing but if there were two or three comments after a bad game, I’d hold onto it if I got criticised. It would affect me during the week. Instead of looking at the positives, the negatives would niggle at me.“You should enjoy games. It wasn’t for want of trying. I tried so hard to go into a game enjoying it but couldn’t. I tried everything. I built up that fear of playing a game for so long. I just can’t switch that off.“I saw a sports psychologist. Deep down if I had a match I wouldn’t be excited. It would be the initial thought of dread and then it ingrained in me that I couldn’t get my head around it.“There might be other people in this situation. I don’t know how many.“I hope what I say can help other people realise there is more to life than putting yourself through the stresses of a football game.”Most Read in FootballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidSmith made his senior debut for Southend in League Two in the 2014-15 season and was an unused substitute in the playoff final as the Shrimpers sealed promotion.The academy graduate made his proper breakthrough two seasons later, making 19 League One appearances in the 2016-17 season.He swiftly fell back down the pecking order though, making only one outing last season in the EFL Trophy.3 Smith, pictured here in action for Southend, fell out of love with the gameBale recreates iconic Champions League final goal in living room as Real Madrid star attempts ‘2.6 Challenge’ for NHSlast_img

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