It’s tuesday night at Fleetwood Town football club. The small fishing town now have a team in the Conference, one division outside the Football League. A fantastic achievement.
Tonight they are hosting Mansfield Town, who only recently were in a League Two play-off final. And up-front for Mansfield, is a small pacy striker, who in 2007 scored one of the goals of the season.
In the year Blackpool went up from League One to The Championship, Keigan Parker scored a memorable winner in the play-off final against Yeovil. Chipping the ball deftly past Steve Mildenhall from 25 yards, Parker was putting down a career marker.
Yet the following year in the Championship, Parker failed to score a goal for The Seasiders. He was then signed by Huddersfield Town, but had a fall-out with manager Stan Ternent, before heading for Oldham, and now non-league football.
Parker’s quick slide down the leagues, isn’t really a reflection of his ability. More a case of a talented player unable to maximise his talent with a great attitude.
As we know, talent is never enough in sport. It has to be held together with the right attitude. Sometimes having natural talent and ability can be the foundation for a players downfall, as they feel that they don’t have to work hard to ‘make it’.
They take for granted what they have, until they lose it. And then, its often too late to recover. Keigan Parker is still young enough to ply his trade in the Football League. And maybe a drop into the Conference will be a wake-up call.
An alarm bell, that tells him that he has to match his ability, with an attitude of total self-determination and will. A will that will not accept that his best days are behind him.
But it won’t be easy. If he fails at Mansfield, then its hard to see a future in the professional game for Keigan Parker. Maybe that fact alone, will kick-start the career of the talented Scotsman.