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WHERE IS SONNY PIKE?

Sonny Pike is currently living near the Scottish town of Dundee, and is studying psychology at Dundee University. He found the pressures of top-class football too much, and in 2003 decided to pursue a more regular caree - having been prive to sports psychologists he decided to follow that path. None the less, he still has a fervent passion for the game, playing Sunday league football for "Dryburgh Saints", as well as weekly 5-aside fixtures against other students, enjoying the, what he calls, "Fag at Half-time" culture. He is currently training for a Scottish F.A. coaching certificate, and as part of this, he coaches two Primary school teams in the area. Although he doesn't support a local team, he goes to matches regularly, purely for his love of the game.

Sonny says that he's much happier away from professional football. He is open that playing professional football was his childhood dream, but the pressure placed on him by his club, agents, sponsors and, to a lesser extent, the media made him suffer a nervous breakdown in October 2000, whilst still part of the Ajax youth squad:

"It couldn't take it, and I got ill, really screwed up. I stopped going to training and stuff, because I was so screwed up I couldn't hack it. Looking back, it's amazing how low I was. Ajax completely forgot about me, they didn't want to know, but as soon as I was better, they acted like they'd always been there for me. I realised how superficial it is at the level, and if I hadn't got back to form I bet they would have turfed me out. That's why I packed it in, it's so unstable.I guess it was during that period that I realised how much psychologists can help people, and I suppose I took it from there."

Sonny Pike says he is not currently considering playing professionally, but he says he is not ruling it out as a prospect for the future, especially at a lower lever. Before coming to University, he played some football in the English Conference. He does not keep any ties with Ajax.

Sonny at the Scottish Cup Final