After reading the article I wrote recently about his reported travels after getting released by Newcastle United, Rhinos rookie goalkeeper Adam Bartlett sent an e-mail setting the record straight on just what happened last season and where the Newcastle United fan site [ http://www.nufc.com/2005-06html/unlikely.html ] didn't exactly have their facts straight.
- Adam joined the Newcastle United academy at age 9.
- After being released by Newcastle United, Adam then went on a one week trial with Leeds United. Things went well with Leeds. There was talk of a possible deal which Adam was advised to hold out for and not sign with any other club until the situation was resolved.
- During the waiting period with Leeds, During this period Adam trained with Aberdeen for 3 days in Scotland. That trial was cut short because of some false information Adam received about an interested club from an agent who gave him some poor information.
- Next Adam trained with Doncaster Rovers for a week but they already had plans on who they were going to bring in and Adam wasn't in them which was fair enough.
- Come the end of the 2004-05 season, the club Adam had been holding out for, Leeds United, decided that I was not to be in there plans for the 2005-06 season. This was obviously a huge blow as Adam had already turned down the chance to go to two other professional clubs, one in England the other Scotland.
- In July, Adam trialed with Rotherham United for two weeks. Unfortunately, Adam never found out why he was not asked back. At this time Adam had his last contact with his agent. It was good for Adam because all the agent had done was cause problem after problem.
- Next up Adam went up to Dundee United (Pat Onstad's former club) in the Scottish SPL. Adam was feeling like his luck could be about to change. As you could probably guess it didn't. Adam arrived there on a Tuesday night, trained on the Wednesday morning with the goalkeeping coach, and by the afternoon they had signed someone else. They apologized to Adam for his troubles as he only had the one session and they had wasted his time.
- That was the final straw for Adam and he made up his mind that he had to try elsewhere with America being the best option he was given. Within two weeks he was training with the Rhinos. He did enough in the two weeks he was here to be offered a contact by the club, which he signed.
- Recently, Adam played some games with the Blyth Spartans just to get some game action in before coming over for training camp.
This story of bouncing around, trying to get hooked up with a club in England, and getting less than stellar advice from an agent sounds a lot like the story that John Harkes wrote about in his own autobiography, Captain For Life.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author's, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.