Former Player Blog - Jack Collison

Former West Ham United midfielder Jack Collison blogs for
Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well and enjoying what has been a good season overall for West Ham United.

As many of you will know, I spent the opening half of the season with Ipswich Town, but at present I am not with a club and am working to get myself fit for the start of next season.

West Ham have been good enough to allow me to work at Chadwell Heath and it’s been nice to see so many familiar and friendly faces again.

It’s been a bit of a tricky one but I feel I’m at the stage of my career where I need to think about my body. I had a few offers to get back into playing between now and the end of the season, but I have decided to take a step back and work with some people who I know and trust and get myself right.

One of those people is Taka Yamamoto, a therapist who I know well from my time with West Ham. I’ve been working closely with him and I’m looking to come back somewhere in pre-season and get back to playing and enjoying my football again.

I’m not finished just yet! I could have been playing now, but I’d have been fighting an uphill battle again and putting myself at risk. I’m now experienced and self-disciplined enough to say ‘No’ and do what is right for me, my body and my career in the long-term.

I’ve been keeping myself really busy, writing a book about my experiences of becoming a footballer, setting up my own Jack Collison Soccer Schools and studying for a degree in Sports Writing and Broadcasting at Staffordshire University. I’ve also got a two-year-old daughter running about at home, too!

Everyone knows I’ve had my fair share of injuries over the years, but it’s been great to get my teeth into setting up my own Soccer Schools – something I am really passionate about.

We started in Bedfordshire during the February half-term and had some really good reviews. Now we’re looking to expand and, with my link with West Ham, we’re hoping to come over to the Essex area and train up a few future Hammers!

It has been nice to get my teeth into something I am really passionate about that I want to make it good for the kids and give something back.

I have set it up with my friend Russell Short, who I played with at Cambridge United as a youngster and who is now a player-coach with Bury Town. We’ve been working hand in hand with a good set of coaches, including former West Ham player David Blackmore who has been training up the goalkeepers.

I’ve really enjoyed it. I remember attending soccer schools as a kid myself and it’s nice to be in the position to offer them proper coaching. If we can unearth one or two players along the way for a club like West Ham, Cambridge or Peterborough United, then all the better.

There is so much energy at the Soccer Schools that I’ve probably taken more enjoyment from them than I have from playing football over the last couple of seasons.

If you are interested, please visit or follow us on Twitter @ jcsoccerschool
I am still in contact with a lot of the lads at West Ham and the boys had a great start to the season, with the new signings settling in really quickly and having a massive impact. You don’t often see that.

Sakho and Valencia have been different gear and if Aaron Cresswell keeps playing the way he has been then I don’t think he is too far from an England call-up.

The consistent performers like Tonks and Nobes have been doing it week-in week-out again and have been rewarded with long-term contracts, which is fantastic news for the Club moving into the Olympic Stadium.

It’s a bit of a dry patch at the moment, but I’m sure it’ll pick up and there is no better place to start than at Arsenal in a London derby. The boys have been away warm-weather training and I’m sure they will be raring to go on Saturday.

I made my debut at the Emirates and then scored a bit of a worldy there two seasons ago, when we ended up getting spanked 5-1! I had mixed feelings that night, for sure.

It will be nice to get back out there playing myself next season, so watch this space!