CHERRIES star Harry Arter reckons there is too much pressure on emerging talent to perform – so much so he has launched his own academy.
The midfield ace is launching a series of soccer camps next month before offering to help local children who wish to seek a career in the beautiful game.
Arter has teamed up with the recently-launched Elite Skills Arena (ESA) with his team of coaches focusing on fun during the summer holidays.
And the Republic of Ireland international believes the right mix of enjoyment and guidance can release the shackles for Dorset's stars of the future.
Arter told the Daily Echo:
"The most important thing is to put on something enjoyable. Hopefully, the kids will have a really good time and make new friends. Then, any who want to improve and become better footballers, boys or girls of any age, can take part in sessions throughout the year, once or twice a week.
I looked at the way I started in football and it was enjoying it through a soccer academy. From that point on, I knew I wanted to go into football.
At that age, it all seemed a bit scary but the academy I went to was run by someone at Charlton and I remember it being fun first and foremost.
It was from there that I got scouted for Charlton and having had so many good memories of that so I thought this would be something good to get involved with.
When I went to a club academy, the focus did change a bit. I felt there was a lot of pressure to perform and it did take a small amount of the enjoyment out of it. That was one of the big things that made me set this up.
It can be difficult to shine under the weight of expectation and I think a lot of academy players would say that. There is a lot of pressure on youngsters which I don't think is good for them at that age and I want to try to take that away.
You see so many players coming through late, the likes of Jamie Vardy, Chris Smalling even me to a certain extent. There are players who come through having never been part of an academy system and with less pressure, I think these youngsters can benefit.
You never know how things like this are going to start off but whether we get five or 105, I just want to make these kids better footballers in an environment they can enjoy. Whatever happens, even if they decide football is not for them, as long as they have enjoyed it from start to finish I will get a lot of satisfaction from that."
And Arter hopes the use of ESA facilities can help to offer something different.
"I have used it myself and it is recommended by Adam Lallana. It is a great concept and a lot of professional clubs are using it so I feel fortunate to be able to offer it as part of what we will be doing.
I have been thorough with the coaches about the sessions we want to put on. I will be coming down to speak to the children and parents."
Harry ArTER Academy