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 Post subject: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:23 am 
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Dale Jennings: Former Bayern Munich winger returns after 'mentally tough' times

By Emma Sanders
BBC Sport From the section Football


Dale Jennings spent two years at Barnsley and a year at MK Dons after returning to England from Bayern Munich

Dale Jennings was given the chance of a lifetime at 18 when he signed for Bayern Munich. Six years later he was hit with the "worst news imaginable".

Jennings' fairytale affair with Bayern ended abruptly after injury set-backs, and his football career started to spiral following unsuccessful spells at Barnsley and MK Dons.

Then in August 2017, his eldest daughter Mila, four, was diagnosed with leukaemia and Jennings' whole world came crashing down.

But following a three-year absence from football, Jennings, now 25, has made his comeback after signing for local club Runcorn Town in the North West Counties League.

The winger scored on his second start in a 3-0 win over Silsden on Saturday and now he is keen to return to his peak and make a name for himself once again.

'I couldn't move' - Jennings on family tragedy


Jennings had been released by MK Dons and was recovering from a serious knee injury when Mila was diagnosed with leukaemia.

She has been receiving treatment for the past 14 months and the family are hoping to get the all-clear by the end of this year.

But Jennings struggled to cope and found no motivation, prolonging his comeback from injury.

"Nothing else mattered then. It was about being with my daughter," he told BBC Sport. "I wanted to be there 24/7 so football was the last thing on my list of things I wanted to do.

"It was tough. There were days when I didn't want to do anything. I couldn't move. My girlfriend and my kids were the only things that were motivating me to get up and do it.

"You suffer mentally so, so badly."

Jennings' last outing for MK Dons was in a 1-0 defeat by Preston in the Championship back in August 2015.

But when his family received a positive update on Mila's illness, Jennings decided it was time to return to the game he once loved, even if it meant him dropping down nine tiers in the English leagues.

"I struggled for a long time but when we were finally getting good news, I said 'this is it. I have to make a comeback and I have to do it right'.

"When you receive news like I did, it puts life into perspective. I took a new attitude on and wanted to go out and work.

"You have to make these sacrifices especially when you have young kids. I sat down with my family and decided I needed to try again. I still felt I had a lot more to give to the game."
Struggles with injury and language in Germany
Dale Jennings Bayern Munich
Dale Jennings spent 18 months at Bayern Munich but failed to make a first-team appearance

Jennings burst on to the scene in his debut season for Tranmere - scoring six goals and assisting five in 28 appearances in League One.

It wasn't long until he attracted the attention of some of England's biggest clubs - including West Ham and Everton - but word had also spread to Germany.

Tranmere boss Les Parry told Jennings Bayern Munich were interested during a training session and, within a week, former player Didier Hamann, a Champions League winner with Tranmere's neighbours Liverpool, had set up a meeting and a deal was made.

At the age of 18, it was a big move for Jennings but he said it was "always a no-brainer".

"When the manager said 'can I have a word with you?cheap and nasty I thought I was in trouble! He said Bayern had been in contact and I thought he was having me on," said Jennings.

"It went over my head because I didn't really realise how big a move it was. I just wanted to play football so I didn't really care at the time. It was unheard of for anyone to move to Bayern Munich from Tranmere.

"I just wanted to see what it was like in Germany and the different style of play they had there."

But the setback of an early injury and coping with a new language made it difficult for Jennings to settle.

"I tried to learn the language for about six months but I struggled," said Jennings.

"I felt it was affecting my play as I was too worried about trying to learn to speak German rather than putting the performances in on the pitch. It got a bit too much for me and the club told me just to concentrate on my football."

After failing to make a first-team appearance, Jennings was eventually sold to Championship side Barnsley for £250,000 just 18 months into his three-year deal with Bayern.

Jennings was sent off on his debut for Barnsley

Jennings "liked being at Barnsley" but further injury setbacks meant he never became settled and he signed for League One's MK Dons in 2015 following a short loan spell the previous year.

He suffered another serious knee injury and was out for six months before a mutual decision was made to end his contract prematurely.

"There is no worse feeling as a player than having to sit on the sidelines watching your team-mates when you want to be out there playing," said Jennings. "It was demoralising. Every time I felt I was getting into good shape, there was something which knocked me back."

Jennings was without a club when Mila was diagnosed with leukaemia so he went on to take a three-year break from playing before realising "how much he missed the game".

Now he's been given a second chance at Runcorn Town and he is determined to climb his way back to the top.

"I feel like I have that mentality back from when I was a 16-year-old running around for Tranmere," said Jennings. "I just want to win games and progress as high as I can. I am enjoying my football again."
'I have learnt from my mistakes'

Jennings hopes his return to football can be a successful one with Runcorn and says he has "learnt a lot from his mistakes" in Germany, where he didn't take advantage of his opportunity to impress.

"I am more clued up on how to live my life better, how to play football and the sacrifices you have to make," he said.

This Saturday, Jennings hopes to make his third start for Runcorn Town when they take on Guisborough Town in the first round of the FA Vase.

It will be a special day as all three of Jennings' children - Mila, four, Meadow, two, and Noah, one - will be on the sidelines supporting him for the first time and he hopes he can make them proud.

"They are all excited to watch me," said Jennings. "It's good for them to come and support me.

"I got butterflies when we talked about it the other day. Obviously every parent just wants to make their kids proud. For me to get back out there and have all my kids supporting me will be so good."


I wish Dale every success in his efforts to make a new start in Football.
It won't be easy but I'm sure he will give it his best shot - his story is just another example of how cruel the game can be but it is something many others have been through, some sadly never manage to make it again. OM

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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:17 pm 
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Why don't you tell him in person next time you guys catch up?

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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:00 pm 
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How is this an example of "how cruel the game can be"?

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West Adelaide Soccer Club president Alex Alexandrou said the club was still in a position to be playing and training at the new ground either by the end of the 2015 season or in 2016.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:55 pm 
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Bodø wrote:
Why don't you tell him in person next time you guys catch up?



Another fool outs himself.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:56 pm 
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God is an Englishman wrote:
How is this an example of "how cruel the game can be"?



If you can't work that out why bother commenting?

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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:41 pm 
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Old Master wrote:
God is an Englishman wrote:
How is this an example of "how cruel the game can be"?



If you can't work that out why bother commenting?


Because asking questions is how you learn things.

See how easy It is to answer a question, give it a go.

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West Adelaide Soccer Club president Alex Alexandrou said the club was still in a position to be playing and training at the new ground either by the end of the 2015 season or in 2016.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:01 pm 
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God is an Englishman wrote:
Old Master wrote:
God is an Englishman wrote:
How is this an example of "how cruel the game can be"?



If you can't work that out why bother commenting?


Because asking questions is how you learn things.

See how easy It is to answer a question, give it a go.



Try it yourself before demanding it from others.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:22 pm 
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I have offered to you MANY times the opportunity to tell me which questions I have not answered. You have never provided these questions.

If you provide them, I will answer them.

Will you do the same?

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West Adelaide Soccer Club president Alex Alexandrou said the club was still in a position to be playing and training at the new ground either by the end of the 2015 season or in 2016.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:36 pm 
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God is an Englishman wrote:
I have offered to you MANY times the opportunity to tell me which questions I have not answered. You have never provided these questions.

If you provide them, I will answer them.

Will you do the same?




You always avoid answering questions so I never bother following them up anymore - southern sad sacks are not worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:33 pm 
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Old Master wrote:
God is an Englishman wrote:
I have offered to you MANY times the opportunity to tell me which questions I have not answered. You have never provided these questions.

If you provide them, I will answer them.

Will you do the same?




You always avoid answering questions so I never bother following them up anymore - southern sad sacks are not worth it.


Once again, you can't back up your point. This is too.easy you senile northern champagne.

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Quote:
West Adelaide Soccer Club president Alex Alexandrou said the club was still in a position to be playing and training at the new ground either by the end of the 2015 season or in 2016.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:22 pm 
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God is an Englishman wrote:
Old Master wrote:
God is an Englishman wrote:
I have offered to you MANY times the opportunity to tell me which questions I have not answered. You have never provided these questions.

If you provide them, I will answer them.

Will you do the same?




You always avoid answering questions so I never bother following them up anymore - southern sad sacks are not worth it.


Once again, you can't back up your point. This is too.easy you senile northern champagne.



And, once again you southern sad sack, start doing what you demand from others.

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The older I get the better I was.


FOOTBALL IS LIFE
The Rest Is Just Details


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 Post subject: Re: The Ups and Downs of Football
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:10 pm 
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If you believe that I do not answer questions then you will be able to provide a list of these questions very easily.

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Quote:
West Adelaide Soccer Club president Alex Alexandrou said the club was still in a position to be playing and training at the new ground either by the end of the 2015 season or in 2016.


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