Staffordshire University is launching a unique course for students who’ve set their sights on a career in football coaching.
The course will provide plentiful opportunities for students to develop their coaching practice with a range of participants, both on campus and with the football club.
Ashley Gill, Course Leader
The FdSc Coaching in the Community (Football) is a two-year course with work experience opportunities delivered in partnership with Stoke City’s Community Trust.
Designed for students with ambitions to develop their knowledge, skills and experience of community coaching, the course aims to prepare them for work as a coach at a football club or in the wider industry, both in the UK and internationally.
Course director Ashley Gill said: “All students will have the opportunity to learn about sports development, biomechanics, physiology and strength and conditioning - areas which will then be applied to the work-based elements of the course.
“We’ll use a combination of taught face-to-face sessions, supplemented with online learning delivery. This will allow students to access learning both on and off campus and give them flexibility to engage with Stoke City FC where they will be conducting their work-based learning.”
“The course will provide plentiful opportunities for students to develop their coaching practice with a range of participants, both on campus and with the football club.”
In addition, students who demonstrate their playing talent on the field could be selected for Stoke’s Player Pathway Programme, taking on a dual role as student athletes.
Adrian Hurst, Head of the Club’s Community Trust, said: “Those selected for the Player Pathway will no doubt benefit in terms of their personal and professional development and we’re confident it will help them stand out from the crowd in the long-term.
“All students starting the course in September will complete the work-based elements of their course alongside Club staff at the bet365 Stadium, Academy Dome and Clayton Wood training ground. This will give them a phenomenal insight into coaching at a professional football club.”
Alongside industry relevant assessments, all students will also work towards a series of Football Association professional coaching qualifications, namely Football Coaching Levels 1 and 2; Futsal Level 1 and Coaching Disabled Footballers.
On completion of the course, students can also ‘top-up’ their qualification to degree level on a range of courses including BA (Hons) Sports Coaching, BSc (Hons) PE and Youth Sport Coaching and BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science.
Staffordshire University will also be involving Visiting Fellows and External Speakers to share their personal experiences, development and overall industry experience with students throughout the curriculum.
This includes Visiting Fellow Chloe Jones who is Stoke City Women’s Technical Director. She said: “This is an exciting opportunity for anybody whose goal is a career in football coaching and I very much look forward to speaking to and working with new students recruited to this course.”
“Although I became a coach after playing with Liverpool and Aston Villa, that’s only one route into coaching and this course offers people with ambition practical experience of the industry.”