McParland leads disadvantaged youngsters to LMA Managers' Cup glory
Former Notts County manager Ian McParland led a team of disadvantaged youngsters from Nottingham to a gripping victory at The Prince’s Trust LMA Managers’ Cup last Thursday (14 February) at St George’s Park.
McParland signed up to manage one of eight Prince’s Trust teams taking part in the event in partnership with Probiz, Community, Kick It Out, Prozone, Polar, Perform, The FA and St George’s Park.
The competing teams were managed by Dave Bassett, John Coleman, Keith Curle, Iain Dowie, Dave Penney, Gary Rowett and Nigel Worthington who took their jobs very seriously, talking tactics, making substitutions and encouraging the young people to push themselves.
The mixed squads were each made up of young people currently taking part in The Prince’s Trust Team programme, a 12-week personal development course, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.
LMA board member Dave Bassett commented: “As a board member of the LMA, I am very proud that as an association we actively take part in such worthwhile community projects.
“The Prince’s Trust is a fantastic charity and provides the opportunity for disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. It was clear that all the participants thoroughly enjoyed the day at St George’s Park.”
The players, who are based in the Midlands, are currently completing Prince’s Trust programmes, gaining key work place skills such as confidence, motivation, communication and teamwork through football. This tournament gave participants a massive boost in all of these areas as well as giving them an insight into the professional lives of football stars.
HRH The Prince of Wales launched The Prince’s Trust Football Initiative at Old Trafford in September 1997. Funded by the Premier League and The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), it has worked with more than 65 football clubs to help more than 22,000 young people through Prince’s Trust courses which help three in four people into work, education and training.
The inaugural Prince’s Trust LMA Managers’ Cup took part in 2009 and saw eight LMA members managing a team each. One of those managers was Keith Alexander, who at the time, was manager of Macclesfield Town FC.
In March 2010, Keith sadly and unexpectedly passed away. A fantastic ambassador for football, Keith was the ideal role model and approached the tournament with his usual friendly, positive and dedicated approach, ensuring the youngsters had a truly memorable experience.
In honour of Keith’s involvement and commitment to football at all levels of the game, the LMA and The Prince’s Trust created the ‘Keith Alexander Player of the Tournament’ award, sponsored by Kick It Out, which again continued this year.
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: “The LMA was delighted to once again support The Prince’s Trust and host this fantastic event for the first time at St George’s Park. It is truly engaging and brings people together for a common purpose encouraging key values such as working as a team, motivating individuals and ultimately improving lives.
“Thanks must go to the LMA’s members who provided another fantastic line-up for this event, demonstrating the extremely positive impact they can have on community projects. Where recognition can help to raise the profile and success for causes such as The Prince’s Trust, our members are more than happy to support.”
St George’s Park Chairman, David Sheepshanks CBE, who presented the awards said: “With our heavy emphasis here on Coaching and Personal Development, it is enormously gratifying to see St George’s Park being used by The League Managers Association and The Princes’ Trust to host this brilliant initiative.
“There are few better mediums for engaging young people than football and I have been privileged to be associated with The Princes Trust and its schemes for many years both at Ipswich and with The Premier League and The Football League.
“I have seen at first-hand how extremely effective The Prince’s Trust can be in helping to transform young people’s lives, restoring personal confidence and self-esteem, and propelling them back into mainstream employment. We are delighted with whatever small part St George’s Park can play in terms of inspiring this process.”