Manchester Communications Academy – 1 November
Former Hull City boss Phil Brown insisted initiatives such as Kick It Out’s ‘Raise Your Game’ series are ‘absolutely essential’ when it comes to enhancing the skillsets of individuals looking for pathways into the game as he carried out a coaching masterclass in Manchester.
Ex-Bolton Wanderers assistant manager Brown, who has also had spells in charge of Derby County and Preston North End previously, delivered a number of intensive passing drills as he talked to aspiring coaches watching on about the merits of picking up fresh training methods from colleagues at all levels of football before leading a mentoring workshop.
“From a personal perspective, I’ve had a great day,” said Brown, a right-back with Hartlepool United, Halifax Town, Bolton and Blackpool during his playing days. “These types of workshops are absolutely essential. I hope the coaches who watched the masterclass and those I spoke to in the mentoring sessions looking to make their way in other areas of the game have left with one or two bits of advice.
“It’s been very much a two-way street for me. In fact, I’ve probably got more out of it than anyone! I’ve had the opportunity to get out on the field with a very receptive set of players and to help tutor a number of enthusiastic coaches. Campaigns such as Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card are an absolute necessity when it comes to helping carry out this great work at the grassroots.”
Hosted at the Manchester Communications Academy, the event, held in conjunction with the Black and Asian Coaches Association (BACA), Manchester County FA and Abraham Moss Warriors, brought together people from across Manchester looking to gain advice and qualifications as they aim to break into the industry away from the playing side of the game.
Following on from recent instalments in Leeds, Gravesend and Wolverhampton, the ‘Raise Your Game’ series, running as part of Kick It Out’s Mentoring and Leadership Project, combines mentoring sessions covering areas such as coaching, administration, refereeing, journalism and community work, with FA workshops in First Aid, and Safeguarding and Child Protection.
“When it comes to getting a step ahead in this industry, visibility is key,” commented former Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion defender Brendon Batson, who now heads up The FA’s COACH bursary scheme and acted as a mentor on the day. “If you’re out there getting qualifications and putting yourself in the right places, you’ll find there are opportunities. It’s very much about networking and following up the different links you establish.”
With one workshop remaining at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground tomorrow (2 November), Troy Townsend, Mentoring and Leadership Project manager, gave an overview of how he feels the inaugural ‘Raise Your Game’ series has run.
“The workshops we’ve held in Leeds, Gravesend, Wolverhampton and now Manchester have all been a big success,” said Troy. “The participants have shown a real thirst for knowledge, and it’s encouraging to see there is such an appetite to break into the industry outside of the playing side of the game.
“Providing people with this platform is crucial. We want them to come to these events and feel inspired to push on and progress in their specific area. From what I’ve seen on our travels, the future generation of our game rests in safe hands.”