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England's "Class of '07" - Why Don't Young People Reach Their Potential?

England 2007 Predicted Team

You might recognise a few names on the team sheet above, but with the exception of Theo Walcott you wouldn’t expect to see any of them on the plane to Russia for this summer’s World Cup.

In 2007 the Daily Mail published their now infamous prediction for the “England Team of the Future,” consisting of high potential youngsters on the books of the Premier League’s top clubs who were destined to become world-class players.

Fast forward 11 years and none of these hot prospects are in England’s starting line-up, with many now plying their trade in the lower echelons of the game.

So what happened to these incredibly talented young players for them all to fall so far short of their potential?

Pareto have explored some of the main reasons that young people do not unleash their potential in order to help you ensure the hot prospects in your sales team do not suffer a similar fate.


Where are they now?

Out of The Mail’s “Team of the Future” only two went on to win full England caps.

Theo Walcott (47 caps) put himself in contention for England’s World Cup squad after revitalising his career with a January move to Everton in the search for first team football, but was overlooked by Gareth Southgate.

Micah Richards (13 caps) was seen as England’s natural replacement for Gary Neville when he cemented his position as one of the first names on the Manchester City teamsheet in his teens.

After falling out of favour at City and following an ill-fated loan spell at Fiorentina, Richards moved to Aston Villa when his contract expired. Having demanded to be named captain and to be played in a more central position in order to sign for Villa, Richards has not played a first team game since October 2016 due to issues with recurring injuries and his attitude.

Ben Amos is currently on loan at Charlton Athletic from Bolton Wanderers. Sam Hutchinson plays regularly for Sheffield Wednesday, having temporarily retired from football due to injury during his time at Chelsea.

Gavin Hoyte elected to play his international football for Trinidad and Tobago, winning three caps. He currently turns out for non-league Eastleigh.

Former Liverpool left-back Robbie Threlfall is currently without a club having left semi-pro side Marine in January 2017.

Dean Parrett’s career went off the rails following a controversial move from Crystal Palace to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. He was released after several loan spells and currently plays in League One for AFC Wimbledon.

Michael Johnson retired from football in 2012 following a number of well publicised personal issues. He now owns an estate agents in Greater Manchester.

James Henry’s career never reached the heights. He currently plays for Oxford United. Jose Baxter has been offered the chance to rebuild his career by Everton following a number of arrests and a 12-month drugs ban.

Winger Scott Sinclair has excelled for Celtic since his 2016 move north of the border, leading to speculation around a future England call-up.


What can we take from this and apply to our own workplaces?


Young people and potential

So why, when their talent is clear and they have potential in spades, do young people like our footballers fail to achieve success?

Were the sports critics wrong or has their coaching failed them? We can look at these players as an example of a group of young people with promise, just like the young graduates entering the workplace each year. Some will go on to be highly successful and others simply won’t cut it, so how can we increase their chances of success?


Outside influences

While the lure of drugs and fast cars might not play such a big part in the lives of young graduates, there might be other outside influences distracting them from their potential.

From weekends partying to a fixation with social media, there are many diversions. So how can an employer help to mitigate these factors? Strong leadership and mentoring of new employees is vital; if you can inspire them to invest their energies into your business, then you should reap the rewards of their talent.


Lack of engagement

One of the oft-cited cliches about Millennials and Generation Z is their need for praise and validation.

How true this is is debatable but what can't be disputed is that a motivated, engaged employee is far more productive than a disengaged one. Whether it’s through praise, rewards and incentives or progression opportunities, motivating younger employees will inevitably deliver positive results for your business.


Insufficient training

When it comes to graduates, it's important to remember that they have very little experience in the workplace.

With a range of different backgrounds and experience levels, it’s essential to provide training to ensure they are equipped to perform well in your business. Graduates themselves rank training opportunities among their top priorities in looking for a role. This can include role-specific training but it might also be worthwhile to consider some of the skills most of us take for granted.

Soft skills such as timekeeping, customer service, project management and communication skills are vital and whether through coaching or training, it’s worthwhile embedding these skills in your team.


How Does Pareto Unleash Young Peoples' Sales Potential?


At Pareto, we've been helping businesses to recruit graduates for more than two decades, including delivering their training. 

We have met and assessed EVERY graduate we've placed (more than 25,000 to date!) to evaluate their skills and their style, ensuring every successful candidate we put forward for a role with our clients has the mentality to flourish in a sales environment.

Following their placement into a role our Graduates are given a minimum of 128 hours of face-to-face training, ensuring they have the right skills to accompany the right attitude.

Want to see what Pareto's most promising talent can achieve after several years of experience? We've profiled nine of our success stories in our recent Grad to Great Awards.

To find out more about how we identify talented graduates who are capable of reaching their full potential, see our hiring process here.

Image Source: Daily Mail

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