For UCFB students, sourcing pieces of literature to conduct their own academic research forms a huge part of completing their degree in football or sport.

To achieve the best grade possible, students are required to demonstrate consistent levels of thorough academic research, making clear references to academic professionals in order to support a particular point, or argument. Whilst this a process UCFB students are more than familiar with, they could well be referencing their own academic’s work in the not too distant future.

Alan Tonge, a lecturer in sports research at UCFB’s Etihad Campus, has recently had a chapter published in a new Routledge text book.

The book, titled ‘The Psychology of Soccer’, seeks to present the detailed understanding of the theories underpinning the psychological issues relating to football, along with practical insights into effective psychological interventions and strategies.

It uses contemporary theory and research to explain key concepts and applied interventions, whilst also drawing on evidence to act as a vital resource for researchers, practitioners and coaches within the area of sport psychology and related disciplines.

Alan’s chapter, which is known as ‘Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing Issues in Elite Soccer Players. An Existential Sport Psychology Approach’ specifically focuses on the mental health issues facing footballers, and the measures that can be taken to address them.

This is a topic Alan is able to offer a great insight on after his promising football career, which saw him play for Manchester United and Exeter City, was sadly cut short at the age of 24 due to injury. Since his forced retirement from the game, Alan entered the world of academia and now has over 16 years’ of teaching experience within further and higher education. As part of his role at UCFB, he currently supervises third year students on their dissertation projects, specifically around the topics of mental skills, mental health, transitions in football and psychological challenges for players making their way in the game.

Reacting to the news his chapter would be getting published, Alan said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have this chapter published alongside some leading sports psychologists and academics, and most importantly shine some light on the contemporary issues of mental health and well-being within professional football.”

To purchase a copy of The Psychology of Soccer, or to find out more about its content, click here.

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