Grassroots football across Britain is set to receive a massive boost following the launch of a new coaching voucher scheme, backed by football legends including Martin Keown, and Sir Geoff Hurst, which will see 500 amateur coaches offered FA accredited coaching courses, while 12 will be put through their paces by Sir Geoff and ex Manchester United youth coach, Eric Harrison at a one off Coaching Masterclass at Wembley in November.
The vouchers, which are being rolled out by the FA’s Community Partner, McDonald’s, are available to the thousands of mums and dads and members of the community who give up their time every week at football clubs around the nation to coach their own kids and others.
While these parents and volunteers tirelessly fill the coaching gap that currently exists in grassroots football around Britain, the majority of them have no coaching qualifications and in many clubs which struggle with funding, there is no opportunity or resource to provide them with the chance to upskill.
The concern is that unlike in other football superpower nations such as Germany and Spain, young footballers in this country are missing out on learning basic and vital skills at a young age because of a lack of qualified coaches at grassroots level, which ultimately could impact on the game at national level in the future.
Recent research of football clubs by McDonalds found that the three major challenges faced by the majority in Britain are money – chronic shortage of funds (for kit/courses/facilities), time – often ‘lost’ to admin (business skills, applications, development) and behaviour – dealing with poor conduct (players and parents).
It’s hoped that the McDonald’s vouchers , which are available to all potential and existing coaches in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, will give these cash strapped clubs a valuable boost, by helping not only individual coaches but the clubs as a whole gain new coaching knowledge and skills.
While 500 coaches from around Britain will be offered FA accredited coaching courses, 12 will be given the opportunity to be part of a once in a lifetime Coaching Masterclass session at Wembley in November taken by Sir Geoff Hurst and Eric Harrison, the man widely credited with talent spotting and developing Manchester United’s golden generation, including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, and a host of other footballing greats.
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