Throughout my life I have encountered a number of experiences, which have provided me with a platform to learn, develop and grow, through both adversity and success. I have always tried to use every experience that I have been presented with whether it has been in education, sport, when traveling, in life and within work to develop my skill set and shape me as a person and a coach.
These have given me the skills and qualities to be forward thinking, creative, adaptable, observant, to have empathy with others, to take on a challenge and to achieve. My career pathway has been unique and very beneficial for each step that I have taken next.
I am a UEFA A professional football coach with a MSc in Sports Coaching. I have been working in professional football for over 16 years and I spent this time at two different clubs. During this time I worked in the Academy, Premier League, Europa League and most recently in the Championship. I have worked with players from U9 through to 1st Team and International Players.
I spent four years in the USA on a football scholarship at Rollins College, Florida where I graduated with a BA Degree in Philosophy. My return to the UK was the start of my coaching career.
In 2000 I joined Crystal Palace where I spent my first four years coaching and managing a team in the Academy, whilst completing my MSc in Sports Coaching at Brunel Unversity, where I later lectured on their undergraduate course. My experience at Crystal Palace was an invaluable one, an opportunity that challenged my creativity, my adaptability and shaped my beliefs and values. It all started on my first day when a senior coach said ‘If the Academy Director sees you do a drill, he will sack you’. Words that will never leave me and helped me start my journey. During my time here I was able to have an influence on the development program. I also implemented a movement program that was specific to the individual and the position of players.
After four years I then moved across London to join Fulham Football Club where I was hired by Paul Clement (Swansea City Manager). I spent my first four seasons coaching and managing a team in the Academy, along with implementing a movement program and monitoring system for the development of players. In 2008 I was given the role as First Team Football Fitness Coach where I had the opportunity to work within one of the best support teams in the Premiership at that time. I was brought in to bridge the gap between the football and the fitness focusing on both development and performance. I worked under a number of different Managers, two of which included Roy Hodgson and Mark Hughes whilst the club was in the Premier League and in reaching the Europa League Final.
Within this role I spent a lot of time working with individuals and small groups coaching them back to return from injury. The sessions were position specific, focusing on the needs of the individual, demands of their position and inline with the managers playing philosophy. Working closely with the Management, support staff and the player I managed a program that focused on a holistic approach.
I was then given the opportunity to return to a coaching role working with the U21 Team as Assistant Manager / Coach where I led the development program under the EPPP (Elite Performance Player Plan). Working alongside Ray Lewington, then later Kit Symons for a number of years.
In 2014 Kit was appointed First Team Manager and I was given the position of First Team Coach while in the Championship. It was a great achievement having spent 11 years at the club coaching in the academy and then becoming the First Team Coach. My unique journey included working with players from within the foundation phase and then later coaching them again when playing in the 1st Team.
I am currently developing my portfolio career which enables me to continue working within football and also branch out to involve myself within other areas and industries. I am coaching and working with individual players, guest coaching, writing for football publications and presenting on National Coaching courses. In addition, I am guest lecturing on Football Science and Coaching Degree programs at a number of universities, along with keynote speaking to Coperate Businesses in the sharing of good ideas. I am also currently involved in research projects within my field. These are some of the areas that I am looking to continue to develop and expand on.