Britain’s youngest football manager says he’s getting troll messages and death threats online Sammy Mold took over Yaxley FC earlier this year.
The newly minted gaffer, who has just left his parents’ house, took charge of the Peterborough team when they were bottom of the Northern Premier League with zero wins in 24 games. The former defender says his quest for success has required him to make some “sacrifices” that have impacted his social life and relationships.
And he said one of the downsides is the abuse he receives from trolls on Twitter.
CONTINUE READING: Could The Last of Us happen in real life? The science behind parasitic fungal infections
However, Sammy said he doesn’t let it get to him. He has already seen some success with the side, guiding them to their first cup final in over five years, despite coaching players almost 15 years his senior. Commenting on his appointment, Sammy said, “To be honest, it’s been quite a whirlwind. I’m a pretty confident person – I deserve the job.
“I was the best person to take it on. Some of the players I look after through my coaching company were on the team, so I knew a lot of them would come.
“The manager, who also knows me well, thought I was the best person for the job despite my age. I’m happy to have the opportunity to show what we can do.
“I want to do business at the highest possible level. I want to do business in the Premier League. I’m not shying away from it, ultimately that’s what I want to do.”
“I’ll do everything I can – whether it’s six in the morning or ten at night – to make things happen to get to that point. And I have full confidence that I can reach that point.”
For Sammy, pursuing this dream means sacrificing things that young men his age would enjoy, including a night at the pub with friends.
He added: “You have to make sacrifices if you want to be successful in football. You need to be driven. I never really had a girlfriend, I’m not someone with 50 friends going down together.
“I have a small circle of friends that I trust 100%. Friendships and relationships have been sacrificed to my career.”
The former Luton Academy player was just 20 when he was offered the job of becoming the youngest manager in the top nine of England’s football pyramid. And while he admits some fans didn’t immediately take him to him because of his age, he feels his youth allows him to understand the ‘new generation’ of footballers.
Sammy added: “My Twitter DMs are full of troll messages. I have someone text me three or four times a week and say ‘I hope you die in a hole’.
“As a player, I played football in the first team quite young, so it doesn’t really bother me. I can relate to these guys coming through more than the generic gruff Eastender football manager.
“Some older generations don’t understand the new generation that is coming in. 18 and 19 year olds are harder than ever to deal with.
“For example, my goalkeeper was massively abused online and called with all sorts of things. It’s something to deal with – teenagers remember these comments. I can understand that.”
Sammy’s career as a defender took a dramatic turn in 2021 after a Covid-19 vaccine caused blood clots in his lungs and prevented him from playing football professionally. But he said he has always been a born leader and has high hopes for his managerial career.
And he has his sights set on one day managing teams in the top flight of English football, like his iconic manager Pep Guardiola.
“When I came on, the team wasn’t good enough — it wasn’t a secret,” Sammy said.
“I had to be ruthless. I’m here to win – regardless of my age. The club have lost 24 games in a row.
“We don’t have the contact time with the team to bring them together as a group but we still have to win. Until it’s mathematically impossible to win, we’ll keep going.
“When I joined the team it struggled a lot, there’s a lot of pressure when you take on a new team but I’m overseeing the transition and we’ll get through it.
“We’ve already improved. We got a lot of attention pretty quickly, it puts extra pressure on the club to appoint me but I’m enjoying it.”
Although he has always enjoyed playing the popular Xbox game FIFA, especially over lockdown, it was his family that sparked his interest in the sport.
He added: “My brother, my grandfather, my stepfather were all great lovers of football. It’s in my blood I’ve been in the pro academies since I was eight years old – that’s all I know.
“I wanted to stay in football after my injury and I always thought I would rather pursue a managerial career than play.
“If I start now I’ll have more experience than most in management, I can maybe do 800 games as a manager by the time I’m 30.”