Coaches Conference

Inaugural Coaches’ Conference Success!

On Sunday, over fifty qualified coaches attended the first ever Manchester FA Coaches’ Conference.

On Sunday, over fifty qualified coaches attended the first ever Manchester FA Coaches’ Conference, held at Platt Lane Sports Complex. 

The day aimed to inspire coaches from Manchester FA clubs to further develop themselves through a number of educational sessions delivered by leading coaches, on a range of specialised topics. Images from the day can be found on our Facebook page

The day got underway with a warm welcome from Manchester’s FA County Coach Developer, Rebecca Garlick, before the whole group headed outdoors to take part in a session that focused on the England DNA Foundation Phase, delivered by Pete Sturgess, FA National Technical Lead for the 5-11 phase. Following on from part 1 last season, Pete shared some further messages around how to engage our youngest players and ensure they develop the appropriate skills to help build their confidence to stay on the ball. 

The group were then given the choice of two sessions, ‘Goalkeeping: A part of the team, not apart from the team’ with Manchester City’s Jon Ritchie or ‘Incorporating Futsal into your coaching programmes’ with the FA’s Ian Bateman. Jon, Goalkeeping Coach for Manchester City’s RTC and Women’s Development team, took the group through a structured hour that looked at both playing out from the back, as well as crossing and finishing as he highlighted how to coach both the goalkeeper  and outfield players to ensure they work together effectively.

As the group headed in for lunch, attendees were encouraged to take up the opportunity to network with other coaches, as the group included a mix of coaches at varying points of the coaching development, from Level 1 through to UEFA B.

During lunch, Pete Sturgess reflected on busy morning: “It has been an action-packed day so far and it’s been impressive to see how committed these coaches are to their own development. There is a joined-up approach to the messaging across the day today and it’s great that all of the coaches, regardless of level or area of the game, will each take something away from the conference.”

The coaches then headed back outside for ‘Developing 1v1 Tactics’ with former Manchester United player and coach Paul McGuinness. Paul, who is now the FA’s National Coach Developer, delivered an engaging session that focused on how players can intimidate and outwit their opponents through dribbling and timely combinations. The group again then had a choice of two more sessions, ‘Meeting the Individual needs of your players across the FA’s 4 corner model’ with CP United’s Michelle Wilcock or ‘Supporting the psychological and social development of your young players’ with Sally Needham, FA County Coach Developer (Derbyshire) in the auditorium. 

The team were brought back together outdoors for the final session of the day with Preston North End’s Head of Academy Coaching, Matt Craddock, who delivered an hour-long session on ‘Bringing Finishing The Attack to life’. His work built on from the CPD event he delivered earlier this year, as he shared some practical ideas around how coaches can help players effectively create and finish attacks in the various situations they find themselves within the final third. The day rounded off with a Q&A with the Manchester FA Coach Development team as the attendees asked questions around their own development and the opportunities available to them to progress further in their coaching. 

Colin Bridgford, Manchester FA CEO, said: “The first ever Manchester FA Coaches’ Conference was a fantastic success and I’m proud of the team for delivering such a high-quality event to the committed coaches who attended. This is hopefully the first of many exciting events for the coaches who have signed up to the Coach Membership which was launched alongside the conference and I’m looking forward to seeing the coaching network in Greater Manchester grow even stronger.”

The first members of the new Manchester FA Coach Membership were welcomed at the conference by Colin, Rebecca and Football Development Officer for Coach and Education James Longdin and given their membership welcome packs, which included their very own coach member t-shirt. 

James, who has overseen the introduction of the first ever conference and coach-specific membership added: “We are really pleased with how the first conference has gone and we are very appreciative of Pete, Paul, Matt, Michelle, Ian, Jon and Sally who each gave up their time to provide outstanding sessions, with thought-provoking insight and practical advice that each coach can adapt to take back to their own club.”

“We were also delighted to welcome the first intake of our new membership just for coaches, which we believe will take the coaching experience in Greater Manchester to the next level! The feedback we have had from attendees on has been fantastic and we hope this sets us up for a great 2019/20 season.”

The Manchester FA Coach Membership is now available to purchase separately for £25 for the season and brings access to; priority booking for courses and CPD, discounts on kit and equipment, 6 free high-profile CPD events, membership t-shirt and a quarterly newsletter.

To purchase your membership, click here