As a lecturer in sports research, few are more experienced in academic writing than UCFB’s Alan Tonge.

With over 16 years’ experience in the field, Alan has helped a wide range of students develop their skills and conduct their own academic research projects. Always one to encourage consistent referencing to support an opinion, Alan’s expert tuition enables UCFB students to develop conclusive theories through their dissertations, an integral part of our unique degrees in football and sport.

Away from his work as a lecturer, Alan is also a respected academic writer, and has recently seen his work published in a prestigious piece of text for the second successive year.

His most recent commentary article, which is titled ‘The Impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of professional footballers’ has been published in Volume 26 of the renowned Managing Sport and Leisure journal, and follows on from his piece that featured in last year’s ‘The Psychology of Soccer’.

The article focuses on the implications caused by the pandemic within professional football, with the intention of stimulating further discussion and research of mental health and wellbeing within the sport. In addition, the paper also recommends that clubs develop holistic, long-term mental health strategies to increase the level of emotional support for professional footballers.

Reacting to the news, Alan said: “It’s great to be able to contribute to a little commentary article which highlights such an important topic, not just within professional football but within wider society too.”

After seeing his own promising football career, which saw him play for Manchester United and Exeter City, sadly cut short at the age of 24 due to injury, Alan is well-placed to be able to offer a unique insight into the lack of mental health support currently on offer within the game.

Speaking on the importance of the topic, he added: “It’s vital that support for mental health keeps improving and that people know there are safe places to go to and open up and talk if anything is effecting their day-to-day functioning.

“The simple message is that we are human beings, not robots, so please don’t suffer in silence and accept that it’s ok not to be ok. Psychological support is not for the weak. It’s for the strong to become even stronger.”

Click here to read Alan’s commentary article in full.

If you are currently suffering with any mental health problems and would like some support, please contact UCFB's Student Services team.