Hello everyone and welcome back to my first blog post of the new season!
I hope pre-season went for you all, you had some quality time with friends and family and you’re now raring to go for season 2014-2015. There’s been a lot of changes this season in the professional game both in terms of playing and coaching personnel and it’s been all change in my own little coaching world as well. As I mentioned back in my June post I anticipated there would be some changes and indeed there have been and for the most part I’m extremely optimistic about the changes that have occurred. I’ve moved up from my role within the Foundation Phase at City and I’m now working in the Youth Development Phase with the U12′s age group. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working in the Foundation Phase, the 4 years have flown by and I’ve learned so much from the players and fellow coaches alike. In order to progress and gain a place on the A license course however I need to be working with older players (the FA’s words by the way not mine). In truth I’ve always felt that I’ve worked better with older players but in order to progress in all things you need to move out of your comfort zone and the past 4 years have really done that. I’m actually sad to have left the phase but I’m looking forward to the new challenge, working with new players and colleagues and learning as much as I can to hopefully this time have my application accepted on to the course accepted. It was put to me to go for the Advanced Youth Award and I would very much like to also gain a place on this course. The issue for me however is that if I want to secure a full time role in football the A license is mandatory for most roles, the Advanced Youth Award on the other hand is a nice to have. With limited time and money available I could only do one course and naturally you will always pick the one that gives you the best opportunity of securing a role. That’s the way of the world I’m afraid, who knows, I might get 6 lucky numbers come up and end up doing both
The change in Phase and role is not the only thing different for the coming season. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have been appointed by the FA as a Coach Mentor for Gloucestershire. A role working for the FA has been something I have tried on a numerous occasions to secure and I’m thrilled to be able to represent the organisation and give something back to the Grassroots clubs and coaching colleagues who helped me on my way all those years ago. As coaches we often moan about the FA and the lack of action and opportunities but I genuinely believe that they are trying to do something about this perception. The mentoring programme is one such initiative to try to help support coaches and improve the standard of coaching within the UK for the benefit of the most important people – the players. The workshops I have attended with my new colleagues have filled me with optimism for the success of the programme and I’m looking forward to working within the region and meeting many more new faces.
My plans for this season therefore depend very much on my experiences in my new roles but generally I always strive to further my coaching education by gaining as much experience as possible; being the proverbial sponge, and trying my very hardest to be the best I can be. My goal for this coming season is ultimately to try to secure a place on the A licence Part 1 course for next year but regardless of that outcome I’m going to learn as much as I can, laugh and make it fun for myself and players / colleagues and love being able to work in the beautiful game.
What are your goals and plans for the coming season? Whatever they are I wish you well!