Concrete: With athletes continuing to test positive for banned substances, what sort of penalty do you think should be implemented to put an end to it once and for all?
Callum Hansey: I feel that there will always be attempts to abuse the system in order to get that little bit better at a sport. Unfortunately, because of this it is nearly impossible to eradicate the cheats without massive penalties to dissuade them. I think the only way would be lifetime bans, or perhaps even going to the other extreme of allowing the substances to be used.
C: A New York Yankees fan recently lost his job after taking a day off work without permission, in order to maintain his run of not missing a home game since the age of ten. What is your opinion on this kind of fanatical support?
CH: This kind of support is what seems to be so lacking in many sports. As an Ipswich fan, I have seen attendances dwindle over the years, so fanatical fans that always attend are almost the lifeblood of teams. However taking a day off work without permission probably is a sackable offence! I hope that the Yankees can find him a job.
C: While on Twitter, Colin Kaepernick, of the San Francisco 49ers, decided to ‘favourite’ some of the abuse he was getting from angry fans. Do you think it is right for fans to vent frustration, or even constructive criticism, towards a player via the internet?
CH: Putting yourself on Twitter, a public platform, and being in the public eye means you will always be open to abuse. Fans have every right to be disappointed in an underperforming player, but many do not have the prerequisite abilities or knowledge to actually know why the player may not be playing well, if indeed they are not. Criticism is OK, but actively abusing people and their abilities is not.
C: Do you think that professional sports clubs should place priority on giving an opportunity to homegrown players to play in their first teams, even if foreign imports are considerably better?
CH: Again, as an Ipswich fan I love the idea of homegrown players. From the sides of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to the promotion winning 1999-2000 team, there were plenty of homegrown players. We are seeing a return to that, with academy products like Tommy Smith and Luke Hyam in the first team. Without homegrown talent being played, the English football team will never develop to the levels of its Spanish and German counterparts.
C: A Tranmere Rovers footballer was recently accused of spitting at an opponent during a match. Do you think the ‘heat of the moment’ is ever a valid excuse for such incidents?
CH: In a word, no. Maybe an over-zealous tackle can be excused as ‘heat of the moment’, but spitting at a person is inexcusable in any walk of life, let alone in a job where children look up to you as a role model.