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The Boot Room


Issue 09 April 2014


inside


German federation praise FA coaching pathway


The FA’s ever increasing offering of coaching awards received high praise from the German football federation [DFB] on a recent UEFA study visit at St.George’s Park, with key coaching figures praising the English coaching pathway for being “ten years” ahead in some aspects of course provision.


Geoff Pike, FA Head of Coaching Awards and study visit course director, believes the endorsements from some of Europe’s major footballing nations – including Belgium, France and Norway - underline the quality of football education currently provided by The FA.


“Most countries are keen to learn from us, as we are from them, something that was clearly evident when at the end of the visit the German delegation suggested that they were 10 years behind us regarding coach education. It shows that the qualifications and provision we provide in educating coaches is to a very high level."


During the visit, which focused on preparing coaches to work in professional youth academies, FA staff provided an overview of the UEFA B Licence, UEFA A Licence goalkeeping diploma, the UEFA Pro Licence, as well as The FA Licensed Coaches’ Club scheme and the research projects which inform course content and course delivery.


However Pike says it was The FA Advanced Youth Award and the links with The FA Youth Coach Educator [FAYCE] programme - which provides bespoke in-situ FA support for academy coaches through a network of nationwide coach educators - which prompted most interest from the visiting nations.


“The Advanced Youth Award was also a big topic of conversation as the visiting countries had no real provision to deliver qualifications that are specific to the area of expertise the coach wishes to work in. The information about the FAYCE programme was all new to the delegations and a lot of questions were asked. Since the study visit has finished we have been invited to Paris to discuss this further with the French federation."


Delegates visited Derby County’s academy to see how FA staff and The FA Advanced Youth Award is helping to develop academy coaches.


The FAYCE programme is all about providing specialist coach education support for individual coaches, as FA Head of Elite Coach Education, Jamie Robinson, outlined in issue 8 of The Boot Room:


“The more we can help the academy coaches in situation, by understanding the environment in which they work whilst developing an awareness of the demands they are placed under will prove invaluable when helping them improve.


Robinson added: “Delivering FA qualifications within the clubs circumstances is crucial. If we’re delivering an FA Youth Award Module One in a football club it’s not only about developing an environment, it’s about developing their environment, the environment in which they work three times a week and at a weekend.


“The support needed at Carlisle United is very different to that at Chelsea, just as it is different at Preston North End or Portsmouth. This programme allows all of our support to be specific and real to a club’s own experience.”


Pike believes the variety and depth of FA course provision is reward for those who had the vision to put in place the structure of the courses but believes there is much to do to continue to provide the highest standards of coach education.


“We need continued hard work with everyone buying into the process, continued investment into coaching as well as the commitment and desire of the coaches to improve. As well as continued commitment from the volunteer workforce in the grassroots game and continued support from the part-time tutors who are a crucial member of the tutor workforce."


The UEFA study visit (6-9th January) was led by FA Head of Coaching Awards, Geoff Pike and staffed by Alan Gillett and Dennis Mortimer with contributions to the programme by Jamie Robinson, Mark Kearney, Wayne Allison, John Peacock, Jamie Houchen, Simon Smith, Ted Dale and Matt Bishop.


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