England coach is to help develop the best young coaches in the country
The England coach is to help develop the best young coaches in the country...and he'll be joined by the two Sweden coaches who tried to knock him out of the World Cup last summer...
With the search still on to find a new England coach following the departure of Steve McClaren from the seniors' set-up, it can only be good news that Sven-Goran Eriksson is helping to groom the next generation of English coaches with aspirations to reach the very highest level of the game.
As The FA's ground-breaking UEFA Pro-Licence Coaching Certificate enters the middle of its second year, this year's intake - which includes young coaches of the calibre of David Platt, Alan Pardew, Nigel Worthington and Stuart Pearce - will be getting a lesson in World Cup tactics.
For, not only we will they be tutored by Sven, but they will also get the chance to question Tommy Soderberg and Lars Lagerback, the Swedish managerial team that masterminded the Scandanavians' run to the Second Round in Japan.
Sven is looking forward to talking tactics and experiences with the coaches. He told us: "As England manager I am happy to see that we have these promising coaches coming through and of course I am more than happy to do what I can to help their development. This is an important course for the future of English football."
And the man who did his best to knock Sven and England out of World Cup is also relishing the prospect of playing his part in the education of England's new breed of coaches.
Before leaving Sweden to travel over, Lars Lagerback told us: "Both Tommy [Soderberg] and I feel honoured and privileged to be invited to speak at the English Pro Licence and to such a prestigious and promising group of coaches.
"In Sweden we have been admirers of English football since the 1960s and so we hope that it will be both interesting and valuable to Tommy and I as well as to the students."
England coaching legend Dave Sexton, who has formerly been Technical Director of the National School, England Under-21 coach, and is now a pivotal member of Sven's back-room staff, will get the weekend underway on the Saturday evening, addressing the students on the skills of handling elite players.
Messrs Soderberg and Lagerback begin Sunday's itinerary with a talk that will centre upon the dynamics of their joint management - which is unique in international football.
The duo will be followed by Preston's former Scotland manager Craig Brown who will talk about the transition from international football to league football plus the differences between the game in Scotland and England.
Jim Rosenthal and The FA's own Les Reed will then speak to the students about the demands and importance that the media plays in football at the highest level these days. Monday will see the students learn more about fitness, conditioning and nutrition from Richard Hawkins and Alan Hodson who run the FA's Medical and Exercise Science Unit at Lilleshall before the weekend is rounded off by Sven's talk later that afternoon.
The students will then continue their learning via distance modules, the internet, and conference calls before coming together again in the summer. With students on the course having already benefited from the wisdom of such luminaries in the game as Fabio Capello, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Robson over the last two years, The FA's acting Technical Director, Les Reed is looking forward to another constructive few days with his students.
"This year's intake have been working very hard since they began their course in the summer and this residential weekend gives us the chance to get everybody together for a more intensive learning period," he explains.
"Obviously, you cannot help but learn from somebody of Sven's experience and it will also be invaluable for the students to meet the Swedish national coaches who have just taken their country to the World Cup Finals.
"The work produced by last year's intake was of an exceptionally high level and this year's students have managed to take on a further level.
"One of the most pleasing things about the course is the way that the students have taken to the distance learning. Much of the work that they have done has been via the internet and the manner in which they have embraced it has been excellent, not just for their individual progress, but it also represents a big stride forward for English football.
"I'm delighted to be able to carry on the direction of this course along the principles that Howard [Wilkinson, The FA's former Technical Director] laid down.
"The essence of the Pro-Licence is preparing our finest young coaches for the highest level of the coaching ladder and this weekend will be another positive step to reaching that end."
The coaches on this year's course are:
Stuart Baxter - England Under-19 coach
Phil Brown - Bolton Wanderers
Willie Donachie - Ipswich Town
Derek Fazackerley - Manchester City
Stuart Gray - Aston Villa
Joe Joyce - PFA
John McDermott - England Under-16 coach
Mark McGhee - Millwall
Alan Pardew - Reading
Stuart Pearce - Manchester City
Nigel Pearson - England youth coach
David Platt - England Under-21 coach
Hope Powell - England women's coach
Peter Withe - National coach of Thailand
Nigel Worthington - Norwich City
The students who gained their Pro-Licence last year are: Noel Blake, Terry Burton, Steve Cotterill, Mervyn Day, Dick Bate, Martin Humter, Dario Gradi, Stewart Houston, Chris Hughton, Sammy Lee, Lawrie Sanchez, Alan Smith.
Stay logged on to TheFA.com for more from the coaches and the mentors next week...
From Daniel Freedman