Darrel Bryant, 40, from Stevenage is one of the most personable youth football coaches in his local community. Since 2008, he’s been a dedicated coach at Austin Arrowhead’s U9s. His infectious personality has won over the support of the players and parents alike, who help in any way they can for the benefit of the team. It’s clearly paid off as the U9s have only lost one game in the last two seasons!
Darrel’s son, Joshua, played as striker for the Austin Arrowheads and his talent didn’t go unnoticed as he now plays for the Stevenage FC youth academy. Darrel’s ties with Stevenage FC do not stop there. He was one of 20 coaches from Hertfordshire to complete a free Level 1 FA coaching course at Stevenage FC courtesy of McDonald’s franchisee, Mike Ghazarian. The five day course ran in 2009 at the Stevenage FC stadium and the club’s state-of-the-art football academy which his son Joshua now plays at on a regular basis. Stevenage FC first team captain Mark Roberts even dropped by to lend his support for the coaching course as Darrel was put through his paces.
Upon completion of the course, Darrel received his certificate from McDonald’s head coach, former Manchester United youth coach Eric Harrison, during half-time of a Stevenage first team match and is now aspiring to achieve his Level 2 FA coaching course. Darrel has also received McDonald’s branded kit and equipment which he uses in his coaching sessions every week and in the warms up for the matches every Saturday morning. Long may Darren’s success as a coach continue!
To find out more about McDonald’s UK Football Programme, click here.
Last spring, Michael Woodmansey from Scunthorpe, completed a Level 1 community coaching course in partnership with Scunthorpe United and McDonald’s. The qualification has gone a long way to helping develop his coaching skills which in turn has ensured his Sunday league team remain undefeated so far this season.
Michael says: “The McDonald’s coaching course was a fantastic opportunity for me to get involved in coaching, which is something that I’ve always taken an interest in. It started to get to the point where I felt a little too old to continue playing every week, but I still wanted to be involved in the game in some way.
“Completing a coaching course seemed ideal and it led to me becoming a coach for my Sunday league team, Class 6, who play in the Scunthorpe and District Fallen Heroes League. We are currently unbeaten in 19 games since pre-season in League and cups and are the top goalscorers in the league.
“The feedback from the players, as well as the manager, has been very positive and I’m delighted that the coaching seems to be getting the best out of the lads on the pitch.
“I’d also consider taking on more coaching courses in order to further my experience and my skill. The McDonald’s coaching course was fantastic and the benefits that have come from me completing it have exceeded my expectations.”
Cindy Halliday, is a football coach at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire. She went on to achieve her Level 3 coaching qualification and has recently been recognised as ‘Coach of the Year’ at the inaugural FA Community Awards, presented by McDonald's.
As a qualified coach since 2001 Cindy originally got into coaching because of her football-mad son. When her son went to boarding school, Cindy continued to coach children in the local area and now helps to run an Under 6s and Under 7s boys teams, as well as Under 12s and Under 14s girls teams.
“My main aim was to coach a team in a way that avoided any negativity and to see the children really enjoying themselves. As a mum, I knew exactly how to build a rapport with the children and as a result we have lots of fun. I am absolutely delighted to be the FA and McDonald’s Coach of the Year – it proves that if you work hard, it really does pay off!”