The biggest influence on my Coaching/Football career was Alan 'Micky' Porter. Without going into further detail here and now, I have already written an article about Micky that you will be able to read about on https://acoachesview.weebly.com/blog/coaching-influences-1. A local legend, and an inspirational man.
The next influence at a young age was Mr Charlie Daze. This blog entry can be found here https://acoachesview.weebly.com/blog/coaching-influences2
Coaching Influences - Tony Hoyland
Tony was the first senior coach really acknowledged as someone with a good understanding of the game and someone who understood a variety of tactics. Having returned from travelling in 2002 I played under Tony at St.John FC for a couple seasons where we secured promotion and a cups. Injury though blighted my time as a player however I was always impressed and respectful of Tony’s coaching.
We always discussed Tactics and Set Plays and as a player, he gave me freedom to play. Even when he put me as sweeper for the first time ever in a cup final! The main thought that comes to mind was when Tony introduced us to the 1-3-3-1-3 system with a very high press. Something I had never seen before and a system I enjoyed playing in and reading about. Tony was never afraid to try something new or do something different to others and I believe that during this time gave me the courage to do the same. (ie playing 3-4-3 with my junior teams when everyone at the time was playing 4-4-2). A top bloke.
Coaching Influences - Jim Kelman & Richard Horner
Jim Kelman - A brief period back in 2004 completed the first ever Level 2 CCF in Jersey was an experience I’ll never forget. Grainville Playing fields, 10 consecutive and intense days of learning with a man whose technical knowledge of the game was unbelievable!
The most difficult and challenging course I have ever been on. A total eye opener into the world of coaching. Jim pushed us hard to learn a great deal in a short amount of time. I still refer to his booklet even now! This short interaction influenced me massively and I guess stoked the fire even more to make me want to become one of the best coaches in the island.
Richard Horner - A very articulate tutor! I returned from Australia in 2010 probably a little too confident in myself. Several years of successful trophy winning with St.Pauls, developing a strong Academy for ID Elite/Grouville FC meant I probably thought I knew more than that I actually did.
Enter Richard Horner and the newly introduced Youth Modules. Richard and the course revolutionised my thinking, making me question a lot of the practical delivery and content of my sessions and how to try and get the best out of every individual in the squad. Due to my professional job, I like to think I had a decent base of understanding in the Psychological and Social Corners however this improved dramatically looking holistically at all four corners simultaneously. I would like to think I up skilled in every corner through my FA Youth Licence Education, and that in part is with great thanks to Richard.
Coaching Influences - Darren O’Connell
My partner in crime! Darren and I joined forced with the rebrand of Grouville FC minis and launching ID Elite/Grouville Academy. We have very similar attributes in the way we like to learn and develop our own coaching skills.
We are each other sounding boards through the good times and the bad when trying to solve various coaching dilemmas. We have the confidence to question each other’s thinking and give honest feedback. We don’t always agree with each other, but we can always see the others point of view that helps us question our own ideals.
Coaching Influences - Brian Oliver & Paul Renton
Brian Oliver - I first met Brian as a young player at St Pauls FC in the nineties to be honest wasn’t too keen on him! His win at all costs mentality and unwillingness to give you a chance if he thought you weren’t good enough was not for me. However a few years down the line, Brian supported Jim Kelman deliver the 2004 Level 2 course in Jersey and this is where he influence turned into a positive. Brian understanding of the game, and the change I saw in his approach to coaching was amazing. It was inspiring to see someone evolve so much through coach education that at this stage of my own journey I realised that I will need to continuously keep learning myself to keep getting better.
Paul Renton - I first met Paul when I returned from Australia too when starting the Youth Module courses. I can still remember picking his brains outside the Rozel Rovers club house during the lunch break and the advice and support Paul gave around the course was fantastic. Having accepted his offer to join the Jersey FA Centre of Excellence working alongside Paul each week, reviewing sessions, games, players and driving the program forward, Pauls influence over the past several years has been instrumental in my own development.
The conversations with this dynamic duo are always insightful and thought provoking. Both have become a great influence in recent years in developing my own coaching knowledge and ability.
Coaching Influences - Ken Brawley
Having coached Ken’s son when he was a young child, Ken became part of the our coaching team at Grouville FC when I returned from Australia. Over the years Ken and I have built a strong friendship that started through football that has included the good, the bad and the ugly!
We share similar values and beliefs in the way we provide football opportunities for young players whilst also showing the respect for each others differences in opinions. Ken has been a great sounding board and through numerous discussions over the years has also given me food for thought by offering different perspectives through his own experience. Ken supported me as I launched GS United in its infancy and we continue to work hard in developing the club, our coaches and our players.
Coaching Influences - Parents
Where would we be without parents? A lesson I learnt early from Micky Porter was that as a coach your values and beliefs will be tested when making decisions. Usually tough decision where others may disagree with you. I understood early that I would have to stand my ground, and ensure I have a valid and justified reason for any decision I make. Certain parents may not always agree with your decision, but if they understand your rationale, then they may be able to accept it.
For every pessimistic, over bearing, over involved parent, there are usually many more positive, open minded and supportive parents. I am fortunate enough to have learnt from both over the years and am always grateful for some of the journey’s I’ve been on with some of them as I believe this has made me a better coach.
Coaching Influences - Books
Bill Beswick - Focused For Soccer
Massimo Lucchiesi - Coaching the 343 and 433
Coaching Influences - Players!
Last but not least, obviously a huge influence in my coaching journey has been, and will continue to be the hundreds of players I have had the privilege to know and to coach. Through the ups and downs, the good and the bad, honest feedback from payers has been vital to moulding my own characteristics as a coach. No doubt I’ll have lots of stories and anecdotes that can be provided throughout this course.
My main aim personally is to learn as much as possible throughout this Level 3 course. Being from an island and working in the environment I do, I would like to hear and learn from other coaches about their experiences working in different areas and communities around the country.
As for the U11s teams I shall be running, I hope they the players enjoy their season learning a new format of the game. They are now being introduced to 9 aside football with the Offside rule, the back pass rule and the exclusion of the ‘retreat lines’ that are in place for minis football. Of course the size of the pitch, the size of goals and more players playing at the same time adds another layer of challenge we are looking forward too.
We have introduced player packs and blocks of work to try and achieve a variety of team targets within our system of play and this information has also been passed on to parents through re-season parents meeting and a follow up email so they too have an understanding of what we are trying to achieve with this group of players.