St George’s Park

My New Role, Lions Sponsorship, My Coaching Journey and St George’s Park

I’ve got a few things to write about after the last few weeks, so here goes.


Waltham Lions Sponsorship


We had come to an agreement with local business “Mumbai Blues” recently whereby they would put some money in towards the cost of the new kit we need for the team. In the couple of months since, I’ve had endless difficulties with communication and getting to where we need to be. I offered the business a way out about 4 weeks ago when I checked with them again whether this was definitely something that they wanted to do, and I was assured it was “200%” something they wanted to do. Since then I still had the same problems of them not sending over the logo needed for the printers, or any method of payment. All my messages where ignored and whenever I called to speak on the phone I was assured it would be sent over in the next half an hour (or something similar).

It got to the point where we needed closure to this one way or the other so we decided we would give them an extra week before we would look elsewhere for sponsorship. Unsurprisingly, we never heard a thing. I’m disappointed in Mumbai Blues and feel like we wasted a lot of time there. And it could’ve really let a group of 7 year olds down had it not been for the generosity of another firm.

The positive end to this story is that we have a new sponsor for the Waltham Lions.

Grimsby Resin Floors (GRF) Ltd, industrial flooring specialists, very quickly offered to sponsor us for the full cost of the new kit after I advertised a plea for a willing business on social networking site Twitter.

I am extremely grateful to Chris Parker of GRF for stepping in to help us. And he had this to say in an email confirming his interest:

“I coached young sides for several years and after reading your blogs, we share certain ideals. I hope you continue to stress the importance of development & improvement above results, a sense of fair play and enjoyment. Although a long time ago I am a Waltham lad too, having been brought up in the village.”

Chris has also asked me to inform him of future fixture venues as he would like to come and watch a few games when possible. I’m delighted that Chris and GRF have agreed to help us with sponsorship and I’m very grateful. I also think it says a lot about Chris that he has not only stepped in at short notice to help us, but also that he’s showing a real interest in us and would like to see the Lions play.




Thanks to Chris and GRF from myself, Waltham FC, the Waltham Lions players and their parents.


Coaching Journey Continues with another Coaching Course


In June, I completed the FA Youth Award Module 1 coaching course. This was a brilliant 4-day course that I would recommend any coach to enrol on. It focused specifically on coaching young players, with considerations of different age groups, physical development and ability. It gave great messages around managing mistakes, allowing decision-making practice, giving freedom and responsibility, increasing self-esteem and managing motivation, amongst other things. Regular readers of my blogs and the parents of my players will hopefully notice that I’m already on the right track in these respects. However, I am always learning and looking to improve, and I found the practical involvement in exercises to emphasise different learning styles very useful and informative. And I took some great points and messages from the course, as well as a bunch of new games provided in the courses reading material.

I am still ready to take an assessment for the FA Level Two Award in Coaching Football course, and I await a re-arranged date for a Lincolnshire FA assessment after the previous weekend was postponed due to lack of numbers.


Visit to St George’s Park


On the 5th of July I visited St George’s Park with Waltham Red Stars Coach James Brown. I was looking forward to this for a long time and wasn’t disappointed. I was there for a coaches conference hosted by Lincolnshire FA at the new home of English Football development at Burton, Staffordshire. The Continued Professional Development (CPD) event consisted of a tour of St. George’s Park, lunch, and a 2 hour training session delivered by FA Regional Tutor Julie Chipchase on one of the pitches at the facility – the Michael Owen Pitch to be precise. The session topic was ‘Finishing’ and it was fascinating to take part in and observe the session and games put on and how they were delivered.
The whole facility is excellent. It was great to hear the level of care and detailed attention that goes into improving, adjusting and maintaining the pitches there. It was strange to be told that the indoor 3G pitch is watered and the make-up and constant minor adjustments to the Wembley replica pitch (the facilities main show pitch) is unbelievable. It was also quite staggering to hear that only 110 of the 330 acres owned at the site are actually being used at the moment, so there’s plenty of room for developments. I look forward to visiting the place again, either for a coaching course, CPD event or maybe one day with the Waltham Lions.

Here is a slideshow of pictures I took during my visit:


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Louth Old Boys Tournament/Festival Abandoned

Waltham Lions were at the 2014 Louth Old Boys 5-a-side Tournament (uncompetitive festival at our u7 age group) last weekend. Unfortunately it was called off after a couple of matches due to the torrential rain and the u7s pitches becoming waterlogged. On the positive side, we scored some good goals in those 2 games and were playing really well. Both-footed Oliver Hendry scored from what looked like an impossible angle and then later with a left-footed strike. Rhys Racey and Lucas Jex also scored for the Lions, with Ethan Lowe showing some surprisingly great handling bearing in mind how wet and slippery the conditions were. Benjamin Harrison got some good tackles in and Leyton Bolton (when he wasn’t AWOL for the start of the second game) showed his usual intelligent touches.


Here’s a small slideshow of pictures of me and some of the boys from the day, enjoying the day despite the horrible conditions:

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My New Role at Waltham Football Club


Finally, I can proudly tell you that I have taken on more involvement/responsibility at the Football Club in the last couple of months.

Firstly, I was asked if I wanted to join the Club Committee. I was proud to be asked, happily accepted the invitation and have enjoyed being part of the discussions in the last two committee meetings.

Secondly, I was told by the committee that they wanted to support my continuing coaching education and would like me to have a role at the club which could feed through a lot of the messages, knowledge and information back into the club, with the other coaches and in turn, the players at the club, benefitting from this. With this in mind, I have begun a role at the club as Football Development Officer.

This will be explained in more detail at the Club’s AGM later this summer. But I will be developing a football development plan for the club, working towards ensuring all teams within the club are consistent with the same club philosophy, help to develop coach education and ensure that the club maintain a player-centred coaching approach. As I said though, more to come on this later. But I’m very excited about this role and hope to be able to make a difference.

The first thing I am looking to do is have each player at the Club go through a Player Feedback Questionnaire. After permission is granted from parents to do this, the Players will give their opinion on different things around a few key areas – Training, Matches, the Coach as well as football in general. I have already drawn up the forms so as soon as I have printed off a huge batch of them I will look to start this process.

Something else I have already been putting together is a template for a Player Development Review. This would be something for me to monitor and record each players’ development in aspects of all four corners of the FA’s Long-Term Player Development Model (Technical, Physical, Psychological and Social). It’d be something I would do at the end of every season, and possibly mid-season as well.


Thanks for reading.