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COACHES CORNER - MARCH

At the ESPFA we are proud to work with such a great pool of coaches that train and prepare our teams up and down the country. All of our coaches have at least a UEFA B License and are passionate about coaching and improving the ESPFA students, not just in a football sense but also as individuals.



To highlight the brilliant work the coaches do and to allow you all to get to know them better, we present the Coaches Corner. In this terms edition you will hear from Runcorn Linnets academy coach Sean Rowlinson, Mickleover academy coach Pablo Mills and Swindon Supermarine academy coach Kerry Walklett.



KERRY WALKLETT – SWINDON SUPERMARINE – ‘If you work hard you get the

Rewards’


Q: ‘What has been your most enjoyable/rewarding coaching experience?’


A: ‘We had a player go into the first team to train before the first lockdown and it was a

fantastic moment for him and great message to the players, if you work hard you get the

rewards. I saw how hard he worked each week, staying for extra training, coming in on

days off to do specific work, always at the front driving the training sessions, just desperate

to be the best he can be, so to get the chance to be rewarded was great.’


Q: ‘What made you want to become a coach for the ESPFA?’


A: ‘Working in full-time football has always been the ultimate goal for me in coaching and I

think the 16-19 age group is a fantastic group to work with. It’s a good competitive

environments but also, you’ve got that enjoyment of helping develop players for their own

football journey.’


Q: ‘How would you describe your coaching style?’


A: ‘I’d say I’m a coach who likes to play in the right areas and I try to install a belief in my players to not fear mistakes. I’m not a coach who will hammer a player for making an error on the ball, but if someone isn’t bothering then I have an issue. I try to be very open and honest with my players and encourage them to ask any questions they need to understand their role.’



PABLO MILLS – MICKLEOVER – ‘They all come together to bond and build friendships and turn into a team also brings great satisfaction in seeing them come in as boys and leave as men’


Q: ‘Who are some of the best coaches you have worked with and why?’


A: ‘As I’m a new coach I have only worked with John McGrath who is Mickleover first team manager it is great especially as he is a young hungry aspiring coach like myself with a lot of playing football experience professionally.’


Q: ‘What was your biggest inspiration when you first got into coaching?’


A: ‘I wouldn’t say anything pushed me to be a coach it was just a natural progression I have a wealth of footballing experience at most levels professionally and semi-professional so I thought it would be good to try and help the next waves of young talent to pursue their dreams.’


Q: ‘What is the most rewarding thing about being a coach for the ESPFA?’


A: ‘The most rewarding thing is that you get to meet and connect with many different people of all walks of life, and they all come together to bond and build friendships and turn into a team also brings great satisfaction in seeing them come in as boys and leave as men.’



SEAN ROWLINSON – RUNCORN LINNETS – ‘Students get to train on a full-time basis

with highly qualified coaches, and do this alongside gaining an education’


Q: ‘How does the ESPFA help the students involved with first-team opportunities as well as helping them progress in their education?’


A: ‘The ESPFA’s model is excellent and really works. Students get to train on a full-time basis

with highly qualified coaches and do this alongside gaining an education. The opportunities

then to link up with Regional Premier League clubs is an excellent pathway into football for

those that have the opportunity to do so.’


Q: ‘What does one of your typical training sessions look like?’


A: ‘I’ve been fortunate to work with some excellent coaches that have really shown me the

benefits of position specific work. It sounds really obvious, but sessions need to be tailored

to meet the strengths of the individuals within it. An extreme example would be that you

wouldn’t want your centre backs working on their finishing as this probably isn’t the most

efficient use of their time, so sessions are often very position specific. The intensity and area

sizes are dictated by the point of the week and periodised to ensure that they revolve

around matchdays. Some days will be a lot lighter and aimed at recovery following a game,

utilising this time to do walkthroughs and tactical detail with regular rests, and sessions in

the middle of the working week will be much tougher, a lot of 1v1 work and maximum

amounts of reps.’


Q: ‘What was your first coaching job and what was it like?’


A: ‘My first coaching role within football was working with the Under 10 age group at a club. I’d coached grassroots football and worked through my coaching qualifications and degree but this was the first time I was entrusted with developing talented young men for a

professional club. I remember my first thought was that I needed to quickly get to know the

level and really understand what I’m seeing, because there were coaches that knew the

formats (5v5, 7v7, 9v9) inside and out, and they knew what a good performance and a bad

performance looked like, individually and collectively, whilst I was still trying to figure it all

out. They don’t really teach you that on courses and on degrees. I remember being so taken

aback as well by how well they described what it was they were seeing and the level of

tactical and technical detail even within the foundation phase age groups.’

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