The international relation of The Agent getting stronger
With similar goals in mind, it was easy for our agency and UK-based Sport USA to find a match, and we spoke to Ralph Clarke, its founding CEO, about the details and background of the partnership with The Agent.
"We share the same view on how to deal with our athletes and how to ensure their development and get the most out of them," said the director, who was in Budapest to meet with colleagues, "Of course we know that everyone's situation is different, but it is very important to be consistent in this process. Sport USA obviously has good contacts in the UK, while The Agent has good contacts in Hungary and surrounding areas. It would be great if we could help talented young Hungarian footballers get to England to show their skills in one of the world's strongest leagues, the Premier League. But it could also work the other way round, there are many footballers in the english national leagues who could try their hand in the Hungarian league."
Sport USA offers a variety of programmes for the athletes associated with it, and the company has close links with primarily American academies and universities (which offer four years of secure study and playing time, followed by a competitive degree - all of which can be attractive to young Hungarians), and in this context can offer scholarships to those who have the talent and diligence to earn them. Not everyone is able to pay the often very expensive tuition fees and housing out of pocket, and it can be a problem for a lot of times for a young person who might otherwise have very good prospects in the world of professional sport slips.
"There are many challenges for a young athlete, but the biggest one is financial, especially when you're playing tennis," said Ralph Clarke, who himself played and coached the sport for many years. - I've had a lot of experience in all aspects of it, I've talked to a lot of people about it, and I think that success too early can cause a significant amount of difficulty. It's better to have a gradual development curve, but on the other hand, it's vital to have the financial basis, because tennis involves a lot of travel, which is not a penny-ante game."
It was a Britain athlete, Emma Raducanu, who showed recently when she won the US Open at the age of 18 that it is possible to come from nothing as a teenager to achieve great results - but the hard part is now, she must repeat the feat and try not to disappear into the wilderness.