Callum Wallace: Football Flick has recently been spending quality time interviewing football lockdown heroes that have been helped by our products throughout the global pandemic. From the Football Flick Academy graduates of 2020 to ‘Grandaldo’ who went viral over lockdown – we’ve managed to bring positivity to a challenging year for all.
Here at Football Flick HQ, these stories got us thinking…
Where did it all start and where are they now?
Well, we found the first-ever young player to grow up and develop with Football Flick during his formative years and here is his story…
Callum Wallace started his football development at Manchester City Academy at age 5, playing with the likes of Bournemouth Winger David Brooks. Despite it being shortly before the well-documented takeover of the club, Manchester City had been producing players of an excellent pedigree. The likes of Steven Ireland, Michael Johnson & Micah Richards to name just a few, have all come through the North Manchester-based club in the past years.
Callum spoke to us exclusively here at Football Flick about his hunger to progress within the game. He told us about how he brought his training home as much as he could to try and gain an extra edge to stand out amongst his fellow players.
“I would come home and go to the little park down the road where I lived with a ball some cones, ladders… things like that and work on my dribbling and first touch. There was a dividing wall between the small patch of grass & someone’s garage or back garden that I could bring into my drills too, but because it was connected to someone’s house, I couldn’t really give it some power & there wasn’t a random nature to the return, it was all very much the same.”
Now 23, he vocalises something a lot of footballers have in the past, wanting to get out and play with another player. For Callum, while growing up, this was always his Dad, who Callum would ask him to come out and practise long passes. This helped Callum to test his reflex’s with his touch and control and gave him a stable platform leading to success in training.
“I would always bug my Dad saying ‘Dad, can we go out practising long passing, can we go do this & that?’ and obviously he came and helped me, but with weekends being usually busy and my Dad’s day off, I always wanted something a bit more.”
Callum Wallace moved on from the Manchester City Academy in his early teenage years, onto the Wigan Athletic Academy very shortly after until he was 14. During this time, Callum’s Dad, Stuart – had come up with an idea.
“I remember the first few prototypes of the Football Flick [Urban Skills Trainer], one of them was white and I’ve no idea what material. It was really small and only had the front ramp attached to it, but the return wasn’t quite right, it was a bit flat in its return. At the time I didn’t think much of it”
Callum’s Dad, Stuart was in the early production of the Football Flick Urban Skills Trainer & unknown to Callum at the time, he’d be the first person to get his hands on the finished product before it was launched to the world.
The full product was finished and launched with Costco in 2013 to great success. Callum had first dibs on unit #1 and after his time at Wigan Athletic came to an end, it helped him with the transition from a formal academy setting, to a semi-professional environment.
“It [Urban Skills Trainer] helped get those consistent first touches & passes. There would be training with Warrington Town, but it wasn’t [of the same] very high level, it wasn’t very technical, it’d help you be ready for the game, so It kind of enabled me to work on the technical stuff & the repetition of basic passes & touches to get that muscle memory.”
Callum searched for clubs high and low while using the Football Flick Urban Skills Trainer to try and attain the lofty goals & ambitions he held for himself. After a few years of searching & plying his trade for his local Warrington FC, he decided to take a significant new step in his footballing journey. This entailed a move to the United States of America on a university scholarship for Azusa Pacific University.
At 18 Callum had spent a few years using the Urban Skills Trainer at home to practice and improve his skills in between training sessions. It perfectly prepared him for his move over to the USA College System.
“It definitely just helps on larger scale when you’re playing at a full 11v11. It just helped whenever I was playing. The biggest aspect to my game was the first touch, passing and the technical side. Probably to do with growing up, asking for my Dad for help and using the product [Urban Skills Trainer] for that addition sharpness.”
Callum graduated from his scholarship at Azusa Pacific University in 2019 thanks to some inventive design work by his Dad, Stuart Wallace & the hard work put in by Callum throughout his development.
Callum and his team won the PacWest Champions 2018 in his final season at the University, rounding off a great scholarship in the United States.
Football Flick is honoured to have been such an essential part of Callum’s journey. There are thousands of kids all across the world who dream about having a footballing story like Callum’s, so we asked him how to make it happen.
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would it be?
“Hard work pays off. I feel like often some of the basic aspects of the game are overlooked when it comes to training. By putting in that extra work on your first touch, passing and technical skills, I think that is what really counts when it comes to game time and making sure you’re performing consistently especially in high-pressure moments of the game. An extra 15-20 minutes a day working can go a long way in the long term.”
Whether it is in the back garden, grassroots football, or the Manchester City or Wigan Atheltic Academy, or even in at a scholarship at an America College, the world’s #1 Training Range is for everyone.