Why I chose the name Building Bridges Online.

Now, before you begin, as my school mates can testify, I was never known for having the worlds best spelling!

I wrote this blog on my way to Hong Kong last week, it took about half the journey just to form the first sentence, so please bear with me.

I have been asked this question quite a lot since the start of my blog page, and what a very good question it is too.

After several days of brain storming with my wife and close friends, going over so many different names and different angles, the penny finally dropped and I had a light bulb moment (which I can guarantee, don’t happen too often)

came up trumps!!!

“Building Bridges….” I shouted out in the Newcastle Jets office, and, to my amazement not one of the girls in the office laughed at my suggestion, unlike several of my first efforts. I even got a nice comment from the media legend, Gerard Laws who said “I like it mate” instead of his normal sledging thrown in my direction.

So there it was, Building Bridges Online was going to be the name of my Blog page.

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Now to the point of why? and what is behind the meaning?

Well anyone can see that Bridges is my surname and the blog part is online. Obviously, I hear you say, but the Building part has only really come to me in the last few years of my playing career when I began to worry about life after football.

I know this is a very old cliché….. “if I only knew then what I know now” but this totally relates to my time as a footballer. If I look back at all the opportunities off the field that crossed my path, that I took completely took for granted instead of maximising them in one way or another.

In sport at any level we are constantly meeting new people. these could be friends, future partners, future employers (and often the elite level) so many business opportunities are thrown in our direction, due to your so called famous status.

Now when I look back over my career, I have made some amazing friendships both on the field and off the field, but I regret not maximising the opportunities that I was offered, due to a lack of experience and, at times arrogance.

Back in my early days at Sunderland and Leeds Utd all I wanted to do was train, play and of course score goals. But i found all the events and promotions that we had to attend a total inconvenience. I saw them as a total waste of my time, and often, I would look for excuses to get out of them just so I could go and play golf instead. (I know it is still seen this way by some of the younger footballers of today.)

How wrong I was.

These events and promotions are put on by major club sponsors, club owners and fans. In fact, everyone that was paying our wages and all they wanted in return was a few minutes of our time to talk and get a few things signed. How hard does that sound? Not very!

So In these last few years, (call it maturity) but I had a bit of a reality check and changed my whole outlook. As some of my ex colleagues will tell you, they used to call me ‘Busy Bee’, or ‘the busiest man in football’ (as well as a few harsher versions!) But I began staying back after matches, talking to people that were looking to book events and promotions. But I guess in hindsight, I was just making up for lost time, and I honestly enjoyed meeting new people, friends and business partners, and became excited about future opportunities outside of football.

Hence the words Building  Bridges for my blog page. As we are forever building friendships, relationships and building business/networking opportunities.

These are all the people that you may need help from when ‘that dreaded day comes’ and that dream job of playing football for a living is finally over and you are left facing the big question “What will I do now?”

Many, many players have found this transition very hard to deal with. They fall into deep depression and don’t have the support around them to be able to deal with “life after football”

Thankfully I realised this early enough, and I was able to do something about it. Having the support of my amazing family helped me and my decision making, and I started planning towards it.

I began to build relationships with colleagues, people in the media, the business world and reconnected with many friends at the football clubs I had played for in the past, that could now help my road ahead.

Getting advice on which way to turn made hanging up the boots a lot easier. The Newcastle Jets have supported me throughout this transition, and given me a pathway into coaching which I’m very grateful for.

So, I really hope that I can pass on this advice to the younger players, and that they can realise that by taking a few minutes out of their day to do events and promotions could be well worthwhile for their future developments,  in and outside of the world of football.

I will leave you with one of my favourite motto’s, and something that was said to me many years ago when I started getting to carried away with the glitz and glamour of the footballing world.

 

“It ‘s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice”

 

Comments

  1. Didnt think my bit of psychology!!! Had penetrated your brain, pet… X

  2. Awww thats lush. You’re getting very wise in your old age mr bridges 😉 haha. Very true all of it though xx

    • Thanks Kim
      I might be getting wise in my old age but Im still lacking a few brain cells due to all the nights out in the Bay and Toon lol
      Hope your well
      love
      Micky and Kate Riley and Sadie xx

  3. Warren Hawke says:

    So true Mate, the transition is difficult, hope the new career takes off
    It’s a long time since Berwick!

    • Bloody hell Warren mate
      Great to hear from you. Hope your well and your right the Berwick days seem ages ago. I must confess I don’t miss the Journey’s up there and now I have kids myself and I drive them around to matches, I understand how my Dad must of felt, but not once did he complain or never take me.
      The transition is going well and Im really enjoying the coaching side of the game but nothing beats playing as you know.
      Thanks for given me my 1st taste of proper football during my Monkseaton High school days.
      Take care
      Bridgey

  4. Hope you are having an incredible time in Brazil, learning from lots of new experiences and still being the ‘Little Charmer’ you always were. Sill living by your Mums’ mantra….Mums always know best.!!
    You are a credit to her and your Dad mate. My brother, who was an ex pro with Sheffield United is now a grandpa to identical twin girls. His daughter married Rob Atkinson (under 21 England player) at Wynyard Hall. No doubt you will know of him.
    Keep on doing what you do so well Mickey Bridges, you are a ‘natural’, take care and keep on making your family proud, they love you so much. Kids are looking awesome. x

    • Thank you for your kind words Pauline really appreciate your comments.
      My mam and dad always made me say please and thank you when I was a kid and gave me grounded values.
      Plus they used to spoil me rotten and I had them wrapped around my little finger as a kid haha but I owe them everything for supporting me into my football career.
      Take care
      Michael

  5. Youve got your Mother crying son!! You are a credit to us, we never had a bit of bother from you, except when it came to homework!!! Very proud of you. Xx

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