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It’s Time To Talk Mental Health With Ex-Footballer Vincent Pericard

On this week’s episode I talk with Vincent Pericard, ex-footballer and founder of Elite Welfare Management.

Vincent’s Story:

Growing up with my family and friends, I had a steady progression until Juventus came knocking after monitoring me playing with the
France under 15’s and 17’s.

Something I never expected or thought about – playing abroad never crossed my mind and at that time, it was a shock to the whole of French football. Young talented players going to play abroad wasn’t well received.

But I have always been an ambitious person so I didn’t think twice and accepted Juventus’ offer – even though I was only 17. Italy was a massive decision and it turned out to be a great experience in terms of learning. Leaning a new language, a new culture and a new style of football was very exciting to me and those were challenges that got me going. I was fearless and adventurous but also very naïve.

I eventually moved to England but suffered the same culture shock I experienced when I arrived in Italy; leaning a new language, a new culture and another new style of football. But this time it was a lot harder for me to adapt which I believe set in motion a domino effect that I never managed to stop and what eventually forced me to retire.

Now at the age of 29, I can look back on my career, reflecting and digesting why with my enormous potential I was forced to retire so early. Being a young player, travelling abroad by yourself or your family brings too many challenges that doesn’t allow a player to fulfil its potential.”

“I met John Duncan after Stoke City appointed him. I always recognised the importance of the mind to maximise a player’s performance or to help them to come out of a dark period. I jumped at the opportunity to have session with John which has got me right back on track.

After suffering my own playing career setbacks, I decided that enough was enough; more has to be done to help players – particularly foreign players who can become more vulnerable – to not repeat the same mistakes I made.

John was the first name that came to my mind as once again, mental health support is key to protect player welfare. Education is another area that I recognise would have made the difference if I had it when
I was at the academy in France & Italy.

My passion is to help players fulfil their potential so they can enjoy a fruitful career.

My long-term goal for E.W.M is to build an international organisation to promote and protect players’ welfare.