“2018 was a fantastic year for me on a personal level. The return to Liverpool was the best decision i could have possibly made. Working back in such a positive academy environment was so good for me after the adventure in Brazil. I will always be grateful to Alex Inglethorpe for his friendship and advice.
In June, I made the move to Rangers FC and I feel so privileged to have the experiences I’ve had over the past 6-7 months. My family is very happy in Scotland and we recently bought our new home in the countryside, with my children settled in school before the Christmas break.
I am very fortunate to have this opportunity at a truly great football club, alongside a fantastic group of coaching staff and players.
I am enjoying each moment and its a pleasure to drive into work each day”
The beginning of a new year, 2019 will see a new direction to my coaching blog.
I want to continue blogging about coaching as i think it is important that we share ideas and experiences together as a coaching community. This enables us to gain valuable feedback and grow the game together for the enjoyment of the players that we work with.
Therefore, I am going to commit to writing more often and will focus exclusively on youth player development.
The reason behind this decision is a simple one, I feel that we are currently in a coaching industry that is very much led by examples of senior coaches and their preferred tactical ideas about the game.
Like most, I enjoyed reading this content and also viewing the various analysis on the worlds top teams.
But…… for the development of our game, I feel that we must share more ideas on player development and how we can impact on the future of coaching and how children are taught the game.
“As a coach who is working at first team level now – after many years in youth development – I have gained more clarity in my thinking on player development and I would like to share these thoughts with other coaches”
The world’s top coaches are the fortunate ones, they receive players at full maturity (or very close to it) and are therefore applying tactics to enhance the qualities those players possess (as adults). The ones most lauded are again fortunate to be able to mould the tactics around players that have been acquired for millions of pounds in transfer fees.
The world those coaches exist in and the world the rest of us have in front of our eyes is often very different.
“Does this mean that we cannot learn from these coaches?
absolutely not, we can learn so much.
But……. in my opinion, youth coaches have a duty to understand the development of people and how to improve learning and technique rather than tactical structures/organisation.
Can the two be developed at the same time?
Yes………. and this is the skill of coaching. The blog will aim to discuss ideas on how to best teach the game and guide young players learning through the various age groups.
I think Sir Matt Busby had a lovely view on youth player development ……….
I believe “Youth = Gold” and that the future of our game is determined by how we teach it to our youngest players. That is a huge responsibility for coaches working with players in the primary and secondary school age groups.
How do we guide these children to be confident, have excellent self awareness and believe in themselves as people (1st) and then football players?
This subject fascinates me and I want to share those ideas and view points with you over the coming weeks/months ahead.
Best wishes to you all for 2019.