As professional players, Nicky Butt, David James and Nemanja Vidic reached the top of their game.
And last week, as aspiring professional coaches, they did the same when they were among 27 learners to graduate from The FA’s highest coaching qualification - The FA Level 5 (UEFA Pro) in Coaching Football course.
The trio joined fellow ex-professionals such as James Beattie and Jason Euell to complete the prestigious 18-month long course with a graduation ceremony at St. George’s Park.
The event, hosted by Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen, was attended by many of the country’s leading coaches and alumni from the course, including Darren Moore and Tony Mowbray who were present to hand out certificates and take part in a Q&A.
For the graduates, the past 18 months has been about preparing them for managerial and coaching roles at the elite level of the game – including international, Premier League, Football League and FA Women’s Super League level.
Course lead Guy Whittingham said: “It is with great pride that we at The FA congratulate the 2017-18 UEFA Pro Licence cohort on the completion of their course.
“Over the previous 18 months, we demanded a huge amount of commitment and dedication both on the course and at their places of work, they excelled with both.
“By building on their strength and qualities and facilitating their learning, we hope we have helped prepare them for the realities of working at the very top of their profession.
“We wish them all well in the future in this fascinating world of football.”
As well as receiving their qualification, all graduates were formally inducted into The FA Level 5 Alumni programme - a new initiative set up by The FA to create a coaching network that exists beyond the FA Level 5 qualification and provides members with access seasonal development opportunities that support life-long peer-to-peer learning.
The aim is to create a valued and engaged group of Level 5 graduates from both The FA’s coaching and talent ID pathways, who regularly take part in FA learning events and continuous professional development.
What’s more, it will provide graduates with learning opportunities as coaches, managers and technical directors and encourages Alumni members to help develop others at Level 4 or 5 by delivering content on future courses and sharing knowledge and experience.
Ben Bartlett, James Beattie, Gregg Broughton, Nicky Butt, Anthony Carss, Simon Clark, Darrell Clarke, Nigel Clough, Craig Dalrymple, Tim Dittmer, Jason Euell, Andrew Hughes, David James, Paul Jenkins, Warren Joyce, Anthony Limbrick, Pedro Martinez Losa, Francis O’Brien, Graham Potter, Stephen Purches, Steven Reid, Simon Rusk, Iain Sankey, Eyjolfur Sverrisson, Tsuyoshi Takano, Edin Terzic, Nemanja Vidic.