2021/22 Coach Development Group

2021-22 Coach Development Group gets underway

23 aspirational coaches have begun their journey

We welcomed learners taking part in this season’s Coach Development Group to St. George’s Park, the home of England Football Learning, this week to officially mark the beginning of a unique learning experience.

Now officially in its third year, the Coach Development Group supports aspirational coaches from historically underrepresented backgrounds by providing opportunities to develop their skills, illustrating opportunities to transition into the professional game and generating a support network of diverse coaches.

This initiative forms part of our commitment to use our influence as an organisation to positively impact every aspect of the game, including delivering core diversity programmes for underrepresented communities across the areas of gender, ethnicity, disability, faith and sexual orientation.

The programme is also designed to prepare coaches for the UEFA A in Coaching Football course.

Speaking on the group, Coach Inclusion & Diversity Manager and programme-lead Butch Fazal said: “This is now the third year of the programme, with coaches from previous years across the country gaining some invaluable support along their coaching journey. This year is no different with the aim of developing opportunities with bespoke mentoring and an exclusive insight into the world of the A Licence and the demands of the course.”

On the day, learners met with FA tutors, took part in practical sessions and workshops and developed their knowledge of the UEFA A Licence.

From the moment the learners step through the door at St. George's Park, we aim to provide an enjoyable and inclusive environment for all. One member of this year's Coach Development Group, Jedidi Sahraoui, spoke on how much he enjoyed the event, saying: “This is the first time in my whole coaching career I have come to an event where I have felt truly comfortable; from being offered a prayer room to halal food. I genuinely felt like I belonged. The staff and coaches all included me in the whole day and I have come away valued and inspired."

Lucy Pearson, Head of FA Education, was also in attendance to mark the beginning of the programme, commenting: "It's a real pleasure to be welcoming this year's Coach Development cohort to St George's Park to begin what will be an engaging and motivating programme of support for each of them. These aspirational coaches will develop their networks, reflect on their own coaching and understand what they can do to strengthen their skills. The programme  explores how they might move into coaching in the professional game while preparing them for the demands of the UEFA A Licence. It is all about them, their drive to learn and desire to be their best. And that is what St George's Park is all about, so it is great to have them with us here at the home of England Football."

See a selection of the best photos from the day here: