Matt Crocker, Head of Coach and Player Development, said The FA is in the final throes of finalising English football’s ‘DNA’.
After two days of insight from key figures in Dutch and Belgian football, cricket and athletics, the final day of the annual Licensed Coaches’ Club Conference was centred on The FA’s vision for the future of the game.
Dan Ashworth, FA Director of Elite Development, opened up by addressing over 300 coaches at St. George’s Park to discuss the processes and challenges involved in constructing England’s DNA, what it will look like and what this means for everyone in the game.
“We have to have a common thread through everything that we do.”
Matt Crocker FA Head of Player and Coach Development
And Crocker believes it is essential The FA and the wider football fraternity is singing from same the same hymn sheet.
He told FATV: "We’re a fair way down the line of identifying and finalising what we call our ‘DNA’.
"Once we’ve finalised that process, the key factor is then imbedding it in everything that we do – through the Regional Coach Development Managers, getting into the grassroots, explaining our messages through our FA Youth Coach Educators, through to our National Course tutors.
"We have to have this common thread through everything that we do.
"It’s a combination of our history and our tradition, looking at the game currently but also where it will be in the next five or ten years.
"But it will be our own, we’re not going to copy what everyone else is doing. We’ll take ideas from different sports, from different countries, but it will be unique to us."
Also in attendance at St. George’s Park was England Under-21 Head Coach Gareth Southgate, who led West Bromwich Albion’s U18s through a practical session on attacking play in the final third.
The theme of the weekend was ‘Developing Creativity’ and Southgate was keen to stress that creativity can come from any area of the pitch.
Gareth Southgate on developing creativity
He added: "We do tend to focus on attacking players when we talk about creativity and I think we’ve seen across the course of the three days here that isn’t the sole remit of creativity."
Five other key FA coaches - Neil Dewsnip, Dan Micciche, Pete Sturgess, Mo Marley and Lois Fidler - all ran workshops on their specific areas of expertise, from developing younger players to producing successful women’s national teams.
England Women’s U19 Head Coach Marley said: "It’s nice to have people come in and see what we’re doing.
"We shared what we do from an international perspective. Not many people are privy to that information and we felt it was important [for] the audience because a lot of the audience will potentially be club coaches or centre of excellence coaches and they’re integral to moving the players on for international football."