Traineeship within English professional football (soccer) has attracted much attention in recent years yet few studies have explored in any real depth the everyday workings of trainee footballing lives. This paper features the findings of two small-scale qualitative studies of football traineeship both of which were carried out at high profile English professional football clubs, one in 1993–94, the other in 2010–11. The paper uncovers the nuances of trainee experience in line with a series of theoretical assertions surrounding organizational discipline and control. It concludes by suggesting that while debate surrounding the design and delivery of traineeship within professional football has intensified over the past two decades, little appears to have changed with respect to the fundamental dynamics of organizational regimen.
McMahon and Zehntner are with the Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia. McGannon is with the School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada.