Mental Matters Column: Why I’ve walked back into pro football

One of the UK’s top motivational speakers and ex-MK Dons footballer Drewe Broughton talks about his new exciting role with Mansfield Town.

On Friday 20th September, I decided to walk back into professional football. I say decided, as it took me a long time to decide.

Ironically, it was eight years to the week that I walked out of the Sporting Chance rehabilitation clinic for emotional breakdown and addictions. The career of professional football had taken its toll.

In the following eight years, I had rediscovered myself. Not the ‘me’ who wasn’t good enough, who never got to the top, who never scored more than 12 goals in any one season.

I liked my life, in the shadows. Working for athletes, guiding them and showing them the way.

I’ve had a great time watching young men blow people away and smash all expectations, as I helped them hang onto their identity where I had lost mine.

However, for every great year where clients soared, word of mouth spread, and my private business took off, I grew stronger, wiser, and rediscovered my belief. A belief I had stumbled across only a handful of times in the 17 years as a player.

An old teammate of mine, John Dempster, was promoted to First Team Manager after Mansfield lost out on automatic promotion at Stadium MK against the Dons in May 2019. For four years he had guided the club’s Under 18s to the league title.

I always remember John as an intelligent, moral, hardworking guy. Perfect coach material. We had spoken about me going to talk to the Under 18s last year but with one thing or another, that never materialised.

The season hadn’t begun too well for the highly-rated and expensively assembled League 2 side and John had a decision to make on whether to make any changes to his staff.

I have seen this happen many times and it can never be easy for the man in charge, but ultimately like any leader, he lives or dies by these decisions.

So he asked me if I would join him. Having built my business I wasn’t prepared to let that go, but agreed to come in as ‘Head of Performance’ to be a sounding board for him and most importantly do what I do; help people perform to their maximum potential.

One on one’s with players, group meetings and helping to create a culture I would have dreamed of. One where honesty and vulnerability are seen as great, great strengths.

For further information, visit or drop an email to Drewe at

This feature was published in the November 2019 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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