Former Rangers ace Charlie Miller's pledge to help next generation

CHARLIE Miller did not, by his own admission, enjoy the football career that he should have.

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Charlie, who runs a successful football academy at Toryglen, has now turned soccer agent to help kids avoid the pitfalls of the modern game
Charlie, who runs a successful football academy at Toryglen, has now turned soccer agent to help kids avoid the pitfalls of the modern game

Yes, he helped the star- studded Rangers side managed by Walter Smith to complete Nine-In-A-Row.

And, yes, he played at a decent standard in England, Scotland, Norway, Belgium and Australia before retiring aged 35.

But Miller readily concedes he did not fulfil the potential that led to him being named Scottish Young Player of the Year back in 1995.

"I enjoyed a career that a lot of players would have loved to have had," he said. "But I didn't do as well as I should have done.

"I had a chance to do very well at the very top level and maybe be one of Scotland's top young players.

"There are hundreds of things which I can look back on now and say I should have done differently. I still believe that I did all right in my career. I don't have any regrets at all football-wise.

"Not many young players could break into a Rangers side that included the likes of Jorg Albertz, Paul Gascoigne and Brian Laudrup.

"But if anybody says they wouldn't have done anything differently then they are kidding themselves."

Miller is now passing on the benefit of his experiences -good and bad - to our up-and-coming players.

He has set up his own soccer school, the Charlie Miller Football Academy, and coaches kids between the ages of five and 15 at Toryglen.

And now the 38-year-old is carving out a new career for himself in the game as a football agent.

Miller has teamed up with his former representative John Viola and is advising youngsters setting out on a life in the game.

And the former Scotland star is hoping he can help our most promising kids to avoid the same mistakes he did.

"I am enjoying working with John," he said. "I can give kids football advice while John handles the business side of things.

"If a boy is not playing well, for example, then I can maybe see why and tell him what he can do about it.

"I also know where a young player can go wrong at the start of his career having made wrong choices myself.

"I will be totally honest with them and good players will respect that. That is what I would have wanted myself when I was a player."

Miller believes having a good agent is vital to a player's chances of success in what is becoming an increasingly cut-throat business.

He has been struck by how much more difficult it is to land a professional contract at a senior Scottish club in this era of austerity than it was in his day.

He said: "I believe I can spot a good young player who can make it in the game. But I have got to say it is far harder to get into football now.

"A lot of my friends are coaching now and they trust me and they trust my judgment.

"But they have to make sure they're getting value for money and I can understand that."

He added: "When I was at Rangers I once got told by Walter Smith that I didn't need an agent and I still believe that was wrong.

"I ended up signing a contract I don't believe that I should have done. I loved Walter to bits, but I still believe I got bad advice.

"I believe all players should get an agent - but a good one. They need to get somebody who can look after them on all fronts and that is what we are trying to do."

Miller takes enormous satisfaction from coaching kids at his academy and is looking to expand the operation in the future.

He said: "I have been running my own coaching school for the last two years now.

"We train at Toryglen on Monday and Friday nights and then we play games on a Sunday. We have two or three teams and hopefully we will have a few more soon.

"I love doing it and hopefully the kids get the benefit of my experience in the game too."

Football

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