Series Two, Episode One: Alex Gilbey
Season 2, Ep. 1
Well then, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Welcome back to the Mental Well-Balling Podcast. A podcast in which football’s association with mental health and wellbeing is explored with the help of a guest from within the professional game.Things are going to be a little different, but only a tiny bit. It will no longer be weekly, and episodes will simply be released when opportunities arise and interviews have been recorded. Less pressure and hopefully content that isn’t rushed. We’ve also got a nice new graphic. I’d love to say I put some effort into that, but Canva is a lifesaver. It’s a bit brighter and hopefully gets across the style of the podcast a little more effectively. It views mental health positively. We get that positive message, particularly around the notion of self-realisation, overcoming moments of self-doubt and pushing forward, from our first guest of the new series, Charlton Athletic midfielder Alex Gilbey, who was kind enough to speak to me after recovering from a nasty battle of Covid, while also managing his recent entry into parenthood and a gold addiction. Among other themes, we chat about the regret he has over his attitude through his childhood despite making it as a footballer, coping with being the relegator – suffering three relegations in three seasons with three different clubs – how his relationship with Conor Washington has helped him throughout his career, the importance of having unity in dressing room and what that means of both mental wellbeing and performance, and how he suffered a crisis of confidence during the first six months of his time at Charlton and his success in overcoming that. Alex spoke excellently, being both really open and offering some great insight into some of the more nuanced elements of professional football. I hope you enjoy our chat. If you’re new here, follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @WellBallingPod. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @K_AndrewsPhotos, and most importantly of all, keep well, keep safe, and keep talking about mental health.