The first UEFA Pro Licence award hosted at St. George’s Park is underway.
The prestigious course, which is mandatory for elite managers and coaches with ambitions of competing in Premier League and European competition, is being held at the £105m Burton upon Trent facility for the first time.
And a fitting list of candidates are in attendance for the inaugural event. Manchester United midfielder, Ryan Giggs, Charlton manager, Chris Powell, and former Blackburn Rovers boss, Paul Ince, are all taking the next step in their coach education.
John Peacock, The FA’s Head of Coaching, said: “It’s great to have such an elite band of coaches and managers who are working at the elite level ,to come together in outstanding surroundings here at St.George’s Park and learn their trade better."
Peacock, who is also the UEFA Pro Licence course director, stressed that the course benefits from the experience of all those in attendance and not just those who have played at the highest level.
“It’s a real mix which will only enhance the course in terms of sharing knowledge and exchanging valued opinions from people who have been in the game a long time.”
The group of 21 is made up of youth development coaches, ex-professional players as well as managers and coaches in the senior game.
Lois Fidler, the England Women's U17 Head Coach, Nick Marshall, Nottingham Forest's Academy Director, and Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates are representative of the varied roles of those in attendance.
The richness of knowledge is a benefit for Peacock as course director.
Peacock added: “I think they’re all here with that shared understanding that they’re keen to learn and they can all learn off each other’s experiences.”
“As staff we use the experience in the room to tease that out of them and to encourage them to question themselves. I think that is important that they go away having self-reflected.”
Leadership has been the main focus on the first two days of the course. Presentations from LMA Chairman, Howard Wilkinson, and former SAS soldier, Floyd Woodrow, have encouraged the group to draw on experiences from outside of football.
“That’s something that we’re very conscious of and St. George’s Park really encompasses that belief. We have to learn from other businesses, areas and other walks of life.
“We need to understand how people learn and what their profile is as a leader on the spectrum. Sometimes coerce people and sometimes be more democratic.
Read www.TheFA.com/SGP and follow @StGeorgesPark tomorrow for more updates from the UEFA Pro Licence course