Nottingham-born Greg Tempest gives a searingly honest insight into the ultimate highs and lows of becoming a professional footballer.
The former Northern Ireland under 21 international charts the fulfilment of his dream of lining up for Notts County in League One., in this week’s episode of the Magpie Circle podcast.
And the mental health challenges he has subsequently had to face since being released by Notts and his long fight to enjoy his football again at Nottingham grass roots level.
Tempest recalls his days performing for Notts alongside loan stars Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) and Callum McGregor (Celtic) six years ago.
“As soon as I saw Jack play, you knew he was destined to go to the very, very top. A great lad too.
“Likewise Callum. They were both really down to earth lads.”
Greg recalls a toxic atmosphere in the dressing room and fights on the training ground as Notts struggled against relegation … before Shaun Derry sorted it out and led the Great Escape season.
Greg describes his pain at being released from the club by Ricardo Moniz – and how he feels more can be done to help young players when they are cut.
Football runs in Greg’s family genes – his grandfather was Billy Corkhill who was a team-mate of Tommy Lawton for the Magpies in the 1940s.
And it was down to Billy being born in Belfast, that Greg was able to appear for Northern Ireland.
“I was living the dream playing for Notts – it was a club very close to my heart because of my grandad.
“I had some wonderful times but they came to an end all too quickly. I was injured for a large part of my final season and was released by Ricardo Moniz.
“It was a terrible experience and there have been some difficult times since. I do believe a lot more can be done to help and support young players when they are released.
‘I started playing local grass roots football again with Old Boots last season and that has helped give me my appetite and enjoyment back for the game.”
Tempest signed for Gedling MW in the East Midlands Counties League this season.
Thursday 11th February 2021
- Greg Tempest – My Notts Dream (The Magpie Circle)
*Main image @gregtempest playing for Notts County was the young midfielders dream.