COACHES CLINIC WITH FOUNDATION’S UEFA A COACH
How did you get started in coaching? What interested you about it? “I completed my FA Junior Team Managers Award while I was still at school with Barney Jones (a long time ago). I followed on from this a couple of years later by achieving my FA Coaching Certificate (now Level 2) at Crewe Alexandra with Chris Walters, he had so much passion for football and a willingness to improve players, he was a big influence. He inspired me to be a coach and offered me my first coaching job.” Could you give an overview of your career so far? “I have had many roles over the last 20 years, working within grassroots football at all ages from u7s up to u18s, coaching teams as well as overseeing the development of grassroots coaches. I spent several years working seasonal periods in America, finishing off with a yearlong placement at Seattle FC. I have worked in adult football as a First Team Manager in the mens Northern Alliance and Women's Premier League over a number of years. I have lead and supported on various FE and HE Football Development Programmes within the North East, coaching male and female players. I have also worked within the Foundation phase and the Youth Development phase within a Professional Football Club Academy. I spent many years working within the Girls Regional Talent Club system at u14 and U16 level. I am currently an FA Affiliate Tutor for Level 1 and Level 2 coaching awards. My time at the Foundation of Light has involved schools sport coaching, specific football and pathway coaching sessions. I have overseen the schools’ delivery team as well as moving on to become Curriculum Lead for Sport and Play. During this time, I was involved in introducing the post 16 offer of the Football Scholarship Programme for talented football players, a programme I now manage and coach within.” You're a UEFA A qualified coach – what did the course entail? What opportunities does having this qualification offer? “I embarked on the UEFA A License in 2014 at St. George's Park, it was a very intensive and informative course. I was privileged to have the opportunity to mix with some high-quality coaches from clubs all around the country. This experience was invaluable and allowed me to develop my knowledge and application of the game. The qualification gave me the skillset to work within professional football and contribute to developing players in this country.” The FREE initiative is set up to develop grassroots football coaching, ensuring that coaches get more out of coaching and players get more out of playing.
I feel passionate about football and football coaching, I believe that learning is continuous. Every time I feel like I am becoming competent, I find someone or something that challenges my beliefs and understanding. This kind of stimulation is what makes football and learning so intriguing.