Jack Trainer the Coach Education Manager at Bolton Wanderers Football Club completed a recent interview heres what he had to say;
Q1. The Coach Education department has been going now for 6 years what has the time been like?
It has been a great success story. Bolton Wanderers FC became an FA approved centre for the delivery of all FA qualifications in September 2004 which gave us the same status as the local county FAs in terms of delivering accredited coaching courses. Having been involved in coach education for the best part of 20 years I set about bringing this new concept to the club. We have grown year on year, making us very unique as the only Premier club delivering a variety of coaching qualifications from grassroots (level 1 CCF) through to Level 3 (UEFA B licence). We have also expanded the programme by delivering a host of NVQ qualifications in FE colleges which is proving to be very successful. To give you an idea of the success of NVQ programmes we have just finished year 09/10 with 176 learners across 5 colleges on programme (10 month programme). In terms of staff we have grown from starting this off by myself to a department that now has six people.
Q2. The Coach Ed has seen many students/coaches come through can you give us some examples of the success?
We are currently contracted to TUI (Thomsons and First Choice) the holiday company to supply qualified coaches to run kids coaching clinics throughout Europe. These young coaches are identified through our college coach education programmes by our tutor coaches who deliver the qualifications. To give you an idea of how big this partnership with TUI is this year alone we supplied TUI with approx 65 young coaches which is over 75% of the workforce on coaching clinics at the start of the holiday summer season in April 2010. Further to this we have our very own Bolton Wanderers FC International Soccer School (www.bwfciss.co.uk) who work all over the world (eg just come back from Canada and USA last month, going to Australia for 3 weeks in September) and again this is an avenue that allows the young people pathways to employment and to gain a foothold onto the coaching ladder.
Q3. The college NVQs now seem very successful can you give the readers an insight into what these are?
This coming academic term we will be again delivering at 5 colleges (4 in the North West and 1 in Crewe). We deliver in year 1 the NVQ level 2 in Coaching, Teaching and Instructing Football (equivalent to 5 GCSEs) and in year 2 students move onto the NVQ level 3 in Football Coaching (equivalent to 2 A levels). At some colleges we also deliver the FA level 1 Certificate in Coaching Football (year 1) and FA level 2 Certificate in year 2. Last term at Preston College, which is one of our partner colleges we found employment for 17 out of 23 students on the course and at St John Rigby College we were given a grade I because of the quality of the programme and the high retention and achievement of the students. Both qualifications NVQ 2 and 3 start in September 2010 and run through until June 2011.
Q4. You recently held Level 3 Assessments at the Bolton Wanderers Eddie Davies Academy with great success can you tell us about this?
First of all to explain that the Level 3 CCF is the UEFA B licence award which is a highly credible qualification and the next step to the prestigious A licence. We recently held assessments at our Academy site in Lostock with 19 candidates who submitted themselves for assessment over 3 days. Candidates are observed delivering two topics each of 25 minutes duration and are assessed as to their competence to coach at this level. We had a terrific return from this particular group with 13 in total deemed competent. Our courses at this level are extremely popular and our next course scheduled for September 2010 is already full. Our delivery venue which is at our new Academy in Lostock has excellent facilities and resources available
Q5. The Coach Ed department are looking to take the BWFC Way Diploma abroad can you explain what these courses are about?
Due to the successes in Coach Education here in England we are now looking to take our unique brand of coaching overseas. To that end we have developed a very modern and forward thinking syllabus which has game related practices and is very player focussed. This syllabus incorporates the FAs latest publication on “The Future Game” and of course our very own Bolton Wanderers English Premier League brand of coaching with all the related aspects.
Q6. The Coach Ed department has grown over its time and you will have seen many changes can you tell us the biggest change for you?
Since my appointment as Coach Education Manager for the club in 2004 there has been a huge upsurge in Coach Education appointments within the FA. The FA initially introduced a new department “FA Learning” and that department took responsibility for all Player/Coach development. They appointed a Tutor Training Manager and quickly followed this up with Regional Coach Education Managers. They have also introduced a very stringent licencing system for all of their tutor workforce which means that all licenced tutors have to show evidence of meeting CPD requirements and competence on an annual basis to maintain their licence to deliver accredited coaching courses. All of this is massively important to quality assure the tutors which will in turn improve standards and ultimately produce talented footballers which bodes well for the future
Q7. The game at EPL level constantly changes what do you feel is the way forward for Academy Programmes?
I think one of the important components in any Academy is recruitment therefore there is a need to ensure we have suitably qualified and competent people out there as our eyes and ears. Having identified the talent we need a sound progressive programme of learning in place for the young players to develop them to their full potential. We need to incorporate a more holistic approach to learning and development and I would introduce a Long Term Player Development Plan which would not just focus on the Technical and Physical aspects of the game but include social and psychological components. We would now need to ensure we have the skilled workforce (coaches etc) to develop the talent through use of a progressive coaching syllabus, giving us the end product which is at BWFC a player for the first team. To wrap all of this up we need to regularly support the staff, update and refresh their training and quality assure the programme of delivery so as the highest standards are maintained.