Mike Smith has been an Operations Manager for The FA at St. George’s Park since January 2016.
Here he explains how this summer’s UEFA EURO 2020 marks a career highlight.
Can you briefly explain your role and responsibilities at St. George's Park (SGP)?
I lead the operational delivery at SGP. I’m focused on the day to day delivery overseeing housekeeping, catering, security and reception. I also oversee the event delivery onsite ensuring that a world-class service is delivered at all times.
How has UEFA EURO 2020 impacted on your role in terms of preparing for the tournament?
I have been leading the on-site planning for the basecamp for several months hosting bi-weekly site planning meetings to ensure that the site was business ready for the start of base camp. This planning included working with team security to prepare a camp security plan, setting up a onsite testing centre for all staff/media and working with the media operational team on the planning of the on-site media centre as well as many other areas.
With the England Team now on-site at SGP how has your day-to-day role changed in the short-term?
The days leading up to the start of the basecamp was very busy ensuring that all aspects of the plan was in place for when the team arrived on-site. Once the team arrived, it was all about implementing the plan and ensuring that any tweaks to the plan were made to ensure the operation ran smoothly. It was a very busy period but very enjoyable on the whole!
What has it been like to be around the site since the team arrived?
There has been a real sense of excitement, that’s for sure. When you are actively playing a part it definitely goes up a level. Around SGP, so many people have worked so hard for the last couple of years to get projects completed and ensure that the site is the best it can be for the team. It’s a sense of pride in what we have collectively achieved and the players and management seem really happy and relaxed and that’s the main and most satisfying thing.
What does it mean to you personally to work in a position where you are playing a part in such a high-profile event?
It’s definitely a career highlight to have lead the on-site delivery of the basecamp. Obviously we are used to hosting England teams at all levels here but this is another level. So much planning and preparation has gone in for these few weeks and they’ll be so much scrutiny that it’s really pleasing to be able to say you’ve been involved. We obviously are all hoping that the team can reach their goals for the tournament and that will make it even more memorable for us.