An introduction to John McDermott
THE IMPORTANCE OF GRASSROOTS
Despite his focus on the professional game, McDermott the impact that grassroots had on him — and the players currently making their names in the England senior teams.
“When I first worked here [for FA] in the 1990s, I was involved a lot with the County FAs, with coach education and did a lot of work trying to get mini soccer off the ground. So, it’s in my blood.
“It’s important that those at the elite end aren’t snobbish. At some point, I know that Harry Kane played at the Peter May Centre. If nobody was there to try and develop him as a nine or ten-year-old, and the volunteers weren’t there to put the nets up, then Harry Kane doesn’t become Harry Kane.”
“The grassroots game is absolutely fundamental in making sure that players of all levels get to the level that they can get to.”
EURO 2020 AND BEYOND
McDermott has been thrust into the planning of a major tournament. And, with the ever-changing scenario of a pandemic, it’s been a real team effort to give Gareth Southgate and the England squad the best possible chance.
“I've been involved and working with Gareth since January, but also joined a really experienced multi-disciplinary team.
“It’s been quite interesting for me to sit in with these guys that have been working together since Russia — that’s both the players and the staff. What I've experienced is a well-established plan that has got us through a pandemic and dealt with quite a lot of significant issues this year. And it really is an impressive machine that is running.
“What I've tried to do — and what I hope to do going forward into the tournament — is to try and work with the team to ensure that Gareth, the coaches and the players have got as much bandwidth as possible to concentrate on the football.”
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