The World Cup may be over but, while messrs Hiddink, Scolari and Eriksson take a well-deserved break, the promising new generation of coaches in the English game are hard at work blazing their own trail towards future glory.
UEFA Pro-Licence coaching course, Warwick
Tucked away in the wilds of Warwick, the elite new band of coaches invited to take part in the F.A.'s pioneering UEFA Pro-Licence coaching course are learning the trade that could take them to the very top of the coaching ladder.
The course is a year-long study of the art and science of modern coaching and has been specifically designed to give the country's most talented coaches the chance to fulfil their potential at the highest level.
Coaches of the calibre and experience of Sir Alex Ferguson and Fabio Capello dropped in to give their tips to a hand-picked group of students on last year's pilot course. That year group (which includes such promising coaching talents as Sammy Lee, Lawrie Sanchez and Steve Cotterill) is now coming to the end of their course and they will receive the highest coaching award available in a ceremony presented by the legendary Sir Bobby Robson on Tuesday night.
Following in their footsteps this year is an expanded group of sixteen students. Among the new intake invited onto the course by the F.A.'s Technical Director Howard Wilkinson are former England captains David Platt and Stuart Pearce, Millwall boss Mark McGhee, Nowich City's Nigel Worthington, Tranmere boss Dave Watson, Thailand International Manager Peter Withe, plus the F.A.'s own national coaches, Nigel Pearson, John McDermott and Stuart Baxter. In addition, the presence on the course of the England Women's coach, Hope Powell OBE, is of special significance both to her personally and the women's game as a whole.
This residential training week in Warwick marks the beginning of a year-long course and it is an intense start by anyone's standards. Starting at 9am and finishing at 10pm, the students study a range of theory and practice peppered with key-note speeches from medics, sports-psychologists as well as present and former coaches. After this week, they will continue their studies via long distance, electronic learning devices and conference call tutorials before coming together as a group again in the new year.
Dave Bassett one of the most respected and experienced figures within the game took time out from his summer break to speak to this year's students about what, in his experience, constituted 'his favourite club' with an amalgamation of his memories and analysis from more than 20 years of coaching.
"For me there are six clear elements that you need to consider in club management," Leicester's Director of Football told an audience of his peers and protégés on Thursday night.
1. Coaching and Tactics
Bassett's Brief: "The effects and importance of your coaching and tactics are obvious because they are what enable you to win football matches.
"One thing to bear in mind is that it's great if you can work with other people first before being thrown straight in at the deep end because you can avoid making mistakes that way.
"One thing that we all have to bear in mind is that in football there's no justifiable excuse for defeat. That's the world we live in."
2. Man Management
Bassett's Brief: "Getting the best out of your players is vitally important.
"You need to decide as early as possible at what level you can best do this. Obviously the manager's job is the best paid and the highest profile but some people are more suited to being a coach or working with the reserves or youths. I don't think everybody can be a manager - it's important that you realise where your strengths lie.
"One of best signs that your man-management is working is when you can see that the players themselves take responsibility for what's going on. I had a great bunch at Wimbledon who I knew I could rely on. Often at half-time in a game if things weren't going right, they would sort issues out themselves. That happens less these days but there are still players out there whose mind you can get into."
3. The Chairman and Directors
Bassett's Brief: "There is politics in football and having a good relationship with the people in charge is so important. If it's one person like Sam Hamman or Ron Noades at Wimbledon then it tends to be a bit more simple than when there are many more people involved.
"I used to think that, as a manager, if you won football matches and got promoted that was it - you were a success. But it's not because there can be people with other agendas, not always related to football.
"I have realised whoever is in charge - be it one person or an entire board - you must know they are unanimously behind you. I want to see in their eyes that they want me there."
4. The Media
Bassett's Brief: "You must deal with the media. The interest and requirements of the media has spiralled hugely in the last 20 years but it's something that you must stay in control of because, if they start to go for you, it can make life very difficult indeed.
"I have changed as a man and manager in twenty years because that's what you need to do as the game around you changes."
Bassett's Brief: "Agents are a necessary evil in the game today. Whatever you think about them is irrelevant because they are a part of the game now and you need to deal with them.
"Whether or not it is you that deals with them personally may be down to the structure of the club or how good a negotiator you believe that you are. It can sometimes be useful to have someone alongside you who is adept in these situations."
6. Organisation and Administration
Bassett's Brief: "The organisation of a club should be such that everything revolves around allowing you to concentrate on the football but, at the same time, you may want to keep yourself involved in the administration and organisation of the club to ensure that you are surrounding yourself with the right kind of people.
"Some places are not right for you and you must learn from that. You know that the environment is right when everybody, from the board down, is all pulling in the same direction. That's the environment for success."
Other speakers, including Sir Bobby Robson, will be speaking to the class as the Pro-Licence residential week continues.
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