Coaches on England Football Learning’s Mentee Development Programme attended a graduation evening at St. George’s Park earlier this month, to officially mark the conclusion of the season-long initiative.
The revamped programme, now heading into its second year, offers a number of opportunities over the season that aim to accelerate the development of coaches from historically underrepresented grounds striving to break into the professional game, in partnership with The Chelsea Foundation.
Hosted by former professional player and UEFA Pro Licence qualified coach Quinton Fortune, the evening served as an opportunity to come together and reflect on the success of our coaches, with each giving a short presentation on their experiences throughout the programme.
Professional manager Chris Hughton and Head of FA Education Lucy Pearson were also present to present certificates to the coaches and speak on the importance and impact of the initiative, as we seek to increase diverse representation across the elite game.
Highlights from this year’s programme included an analysis workshop at a Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge, a CV Masterclass with Chris Hughton and Chris Ramsey, and two coaches gaining invaluable experience as part of the England C Camp earlier this year.
Speaking on the success of this year’s programme, Butch Fazal, Coach Inclusion & Diversity Manager and Programme-lead said: "It was a memorable evening, the graduates presentations were first class and they are all excellent role models who will make their own unique mark in the game. I would also like to thank The Chelsea Foundation for their continued support and we look forward to working with another inspirational cohort this season."
Shaun Gore, Head of Community Development at The Chelsea Foundation was also present on the night. Speaking on the importance of the programme, he said: “It was an honour to be at the Mentee Development Programme class of 2022 celebration at St George's Park. Having been present at the induction of this cohort it was amazing to see their personal development and growth over the term of this course and seeing them shine in the evening. The Chelsea Foundation are delighted to support the programme and are looking forward to continuing to work with the FA to inspire future leaders of the game.”
View some of the best images from the evening here: