How to find a football coaching position

You’ve got the relevant FA coaching qualifications and you’re ready to put your expertise to good use. So, how do you go about finding a football coaching position?

Well, that rather depends on the sort of role that you are looking for. Are you seeking full-time employment and a career in football, work at a school delivering a PE curriculum or are you looking to help out as a volunteer at a local grassroots club?

Because there are so many different ways in which you can coach football, there are many different ways in which you can find that perfect football coaching position for you. Here are four to get you started.

Volunteer with a local club

Volunteering with your local club is arguably the most straightforward way in which you can find a football coaching position. Teams up and down the country are always on the look out for new coaches to come in and help them out and by doing so, you’ll be giving something back to the local community.

There are a whole host of roles that need filling, ranging from taking coaching sessions to going full-on Pep Guardiola and taking over as a manager or head of coaching. You may have a local side who you’ve helped out with previously as part of gaining your qualifications that you could return to or you might have friends or relatives who are already involved with a club and would love to have you along.

Alternatively, you can speak to your local County FA about the opportunities that exist near you. They’ll have a list of affiliated clubs and will be able to put you in touch with those looking for new coaches.

Become an assistant manager

If you’re lacking in experience having only just completed your badges, then one way to pick up expertise is by working under a more experienced coach as their assistant. That way, you can learn from them, becoming the proverbial sponge which soaks up ideas and innovations to incorporate into their own coaching style.

That’s how some of the best managers in the world reached the top of the game. Jose Mourinho began life as a translator and Pep Guardiola was an astute student of many different bosses during his playing career.

By offering your services as an assistant, you can find a route into football and develop as a coach at the same time.

Join a football coaching academy

Becoming a coach with a football coaching academy or coaching provider is a brilliant way to find your first football coaching position. At We Make Footballers, our franchise owners can offer flexible positions that work around you and which will help you gain further experience on your career path.

Have a look at the We Make Footballers academies in your area and get in touch to see if any are recruiting new coaches.

There could even be the opportunity to become a franchise owner yourself in the future. Running your own We Make Footballers academy can turn the dream of a full time job in football into reality, as well as offering you the chance to earn well financially doing something you love.

Find positions online

If you’re looking for a paid position, then your best bet may be to go down the route that most jobseekers do – looking online. There are several websites which have a large number of coaching positions listed, including the UK Sport site.

These aren’t just senior positions either – quite clearly, when the Manchester United or Arsenal job becomes available, they don’t advertise online. Rather, these are for coaching roles such as with academies or community schemes which can offer an excellent route into a coaching career.

Good luck in your coaching journey!

The benefits of volunteering in football

Volunteers are the backbone of grassroots football across the country. An estimated 400,000 people give up their time every week to help ensure that the 37,000 clubs operating in England can continue to offer the opportunity for people to play the beautiful game. Without them, the sport as we know it wouldn’t exist.

If you’re considering volunteering in football to keep the game we love running, then here are some of the many benefits.

You’ll be giving something back to the local community

One of the main reasons that people take up volunteering in all walks of life – not just football – is to give something back to the local community. Volunteering can make a huge difference by providing opportunities that may not otherwise exist.

Maybe you benefited from coaches giving up their time to coach you and your friends when you were younger and want to offer the same to the next generation. You might wish to help young people stay off the streets by giving them an alternative way to spend their time. Or you might just feel that football can change the lives of people for the better.

Whatever your reasoning for wanting to give something back, volunteering in football is a brilliant way of doing it.

You can change lives

On that last point, football volunteers can genuinely change lives. There are countless examples of professional players at the very top of the game such as Kyle Walker or Raheem Sterling who are on record as saying that without the help of the coaches they had as children, they could have ended up going down a much darker path.

That’s the power that football has. You might have a coach from when your played junior football who you look back on fondly 20 years later, tying him into great memories from your youth. You could be that coach that kids of today are still talking about in two decades time.

You could help develop the next superstar

Imagine if you’re sat at home watching the 2030 World Cup Final when in the very last minute of extra time, England score the greatest goal in the competition’s history to become champions for the first time in 64 years.

The goal scorer? It’s only that player that you discovered and coached from the age of seven, right the way through his junior football career. You helped put him on that path to greatness, changing his life and sport in this country.

Ok, so England winning a World Cup with a goal scored by one of your players might seem farfetched. But if one of your players does go onto make it into an academy or as a professional, you’ll feel an immense sense of pride for having played a part of their journey.

It can lead to a full-time position and career

Many of those who now work permanently in football in various different positions originally started out by giving up just a few hours a week in volunteer roles. This is especially true of coaches.

There are countless stories of people who did their FA Level 1 qualification in order to help out at a local club but ended up enjoying it so much that they progressed through the coaching ranks and wound up in a full-time career.

You could start out volunteering to help out your local Under 7s side once a week at training and find yourself a few years down the line running your own We Make Footballers academy, turning a hobby into a job you love.

You’ll make new friends with a common interest

If you’re considering volunteering in football, then presumably it’s because you like football. And the other volunteers you might meet are presumably doing it for the same reasons. Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and make friends over a common interest.

One of the major benefits of kids taking up football is to meet new people and expand their social circles – but the same is also true for adults. What better way is there to do that than volunteering and discovering people who love the game as much as you do?

How to become a football coach in Europe

As the home of some of the biggest clubs, the best leagues and a host of countries where football is insanely popular, Europe leads the way in the development of coaches and coaching techniques.

That makes it a popular destination for students of the game to come and hone their coaching skills. Here’s how to become a football coach in Europe.

The UEFA Convention on the Mutual Recognition of Coaching

UEFA , the governing body, established its Convention on the Mutual Recognition of Coaching Qualifications in 1997. Despite its fancy title, this is actually a pretty basic idea – that every single coach in Europe should be qualified to a continental standard.

As well as ensuring that those working in football have demonstrated the necessary ability to work with players, it also allows for freedom of movement across the continent without managers or coaches having to retake qualifications set by every governing body.

That’s why Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola can move from Spain to Germany to England and not have to re-sit examinations or qualifications. It’s the reason Brighton and Hove Albion’s Graham Potter was able to begin his managerial career with Swedish club Ostersunds. It means that any coach from any country in Europe who is qualified can work elsewhere on the continent.

This makes for a diverse and multi-cultural football environment with new ideas and coaching styles always improving the game.

What are UEFA’s coaching qualifications?

UEFA offers qualifications for coaches at three levels. The UEFA B Licence focuses on helping coaches to meet the technical, tactical, physical, psychological and social needs of players as well as developing decision making.

Next comes UEFA A, which aims to develop the technical and tactical skills needed to make a coach thoroughly effective when working in an 11v11 environment.

Finally, there is the UEFA Pro Licence. This is the qualification that every manager has to have in order to be allowed to work in the top leagues across Europe. It builds on a coach’s technical knowledge via winning team leadership and management strategies that will challenge the individuals knowledge and understanding of what it is to be a coach.

These different qualifications take many months and even years to secure.

There are other UEFA coaching qualifications for those looking at becoming specialists in youth coaching, goalkeeper training and even futsal.

How do I gain the qualifications?

UEFA themselves don’t actually run the courses. Instead, they are organised and delivered by national associations who have met the minimum criteria and standards set out by the continental body.

In England, that’s the Football Association. There are actually two FA qualifications that coaches must gain before they begin their UEFA B Licence.

The most basic of these is the FA Level 1 which offers an introduction into coaching, helping to facilitate appropriate practices and sessions for children and improving the football environment. That is followed by the FA Level 2 which builds on the basics and begins to shape a coaching philosophy and deliver more advanced sessions.

Anyone can sign up for the FA Level 1 to begin their journey to becoming a football coach. Some will choose to pay and do it as an individual while others may be able to find a local club who are looking for new coaches to join them on a volunteer basis and who will fund the basic training required as a result. This can be a fantastic way to get started on your football journey through both classroom and practical learning, not to mention having a positive impact on your local community.

What happens once I’m qualified?

Once you’re qualified, you’ll be in a position whereby you can offer your services to many different clubs, academies or professional coaching providers – and they will be very much in demand.

Grassroots clubs are always on the lookout for people with Level 1 to come in and help them out. Coaching academies such as those run by We Make Footballers can take on suitably qualified individuals and there is even the prospect of running your own franchise business as a full-time career.

And for those who go all the way to the UEFA Pro Licence, the sky really is the limit. Spain, Germany, England – you’ll be ready to follow in the footsteps of Guardiola.

How to get a job at a football club

If you’re a football fan, then working at a professional club is probably the dream job. You’ll be in an environment you love doing something you really enjoy and making a difference in a sport that you were brought up on, not to mention supporting your club directly through your day to day work. What’s not to like?

Of course, getting a job at a football club isn’t easy. It’s a highly competitive industry worth billions of pounds to the economy and as such, there are lots of people out there who want a piece of the pie.

How can you stand out from the crowd? Here are some tips for getting a job at a football club.

Explore all aspects of the industry

Football is about so much more than the 22 players out there on pitch. At elite level, there are nearly as many coaches and technical staff as there are players.

Sports science experts help treat and prevent injuries, nutritionists look after the dietary requirements of players to ensure that they are fuelled to perform at optimum levels, PR and communication experts look after clubs and individuals’ reputations and media duties – the list of roles available really is endless.

That’s why you should explore all aspects of the industry. You might discover opportunities that you didn’t know previously existed. By having a broader view of the wider way in which a football club works, you’ll be in a much better position when it comes to obtaining a job.

Find a way into football

One of the most effective ways of securing a job with a football club is by discovering a route into the industry. At professional level, not many clubs are just going to hire someone off the streets. They’ll look for those already working in the business and who can bring their expertise from the role they are already doing into their new club.

Take our We Make Footballers franchisees for example. Many of them are also employed by professional clubs in a number of roles including as talent scouts and coaches. Clubs know that they must be successful coaches in order to run a franchise and that they have access to some of the best players in the local area who they could therefore recommend for trials.

By finding ways such as these into the industry, you’ll be boosting your chances of being employed by a football club.

Experience other sports – not just football

Here’s a little bit of out-the-box thinking – don’t just limit yourself to football. Some of the best coaches in the world are those who have spent time looking at other sports, taking ideas from them and them incorporating them into their own.

Pep Guardiola took a year out between managing Barcelona and Bayern Munich to study the game – and other games – and hone his management skills. As a youth team coach at Manchester United and now the Football Association’s National Coach Developer, Paul McGuinness has helped to produce some of the best players in the world with his philosophy largely influenced by the 1v1 training that basketball players go through.

There is much that can be learned from the way in which other sports train their athletes on the pitch and how those sports operate off it. If you can demonstrate you’ve got fresh ideas from across the spectrum, you’ll be a very attractive proposition to football.

Jump at every opportunity

The more impressive your footballing CV, the more impressive you’ll be to a club. Being involved at elite level is a challenge in an industry that never stands still, which is why those have demonstrated a willingness to step out of their comfort zone will come across as the sort of people who can thrive within it.

The more challenges you face, the more experience you’ll gain and the more suited you’ll look to working in what can be a very demanding industry.

How to make a career in football

If you want to make a career in football but you aren’t the most talented player, then we’ve got some good news for you – it doesn’t matter.

Playing is only a small part of what is a billion-pound industry. Because of the sheer size and popularity of football, there are hundreds of other roles in the sport in which you can carve out a career.

The question then is how to do so? How can you make a career in football, combining your passion for the game with full time employment?

Here are four steps to set you in the right direction.

Decide what you want to do

Identifying the career that you want in football is the most obvious place to start. Because the industry is so big, chances are there will be a role within it somewhere which fits your skillset and what you are good at.

On the playing side, coaches impart their knowledge and help players develop. There are plenty of opportunities available in these sorts of positions as every club from the top of the Premier League down to Sunday League Divisions who need managers and coaches, not to mention roles at professional coaching providers.

Those with an eye for talent and who are excellent at networking could look to move into the world of scouting. People with a head for numbers might find a position in football finance more to their tastes or perhaps analytics as the technological side of the game continues to grow. Physios and medical experts look after player welfare while there are roles available as agents, within administration, the media, diet and nutrition, marketing and PR – the list goes on.

To summarise, think of any career path or industry and there is a strong chance it crosses over somehow with football.

Secure the necessary qualifications

Once you’ve decided which route into football you want to take, then you can begin to secure the necessary qualifications to allow you to start your career.

Virtually every role that involves contact with players requires a qualification. Coaches must undertake their FA Level One at the most basic of levels while those with desires to reach the very top will eventually progress to the UEFA Pro Licence.

All agents have to be authorised to work through a FIFA scheme and it goes without saying that anybody wanting to take up a career as a physiotherapist is going to need to be taught to the highest standards. As for non-playing roles, formal coaching qualifications may not be as stringently required. However, more and more Universities are identifying the demand for football-related studies and diplomas.

If you want to work in the media for example, then a formal NCTJ or sports writing qualification might be deemed preferable by a potential employer, but more impressive will be a decent portfolio of writing and experience. Which brings us nicely onto…

Gain relevant experience

There are two main reasons as to why having relevant experience will help you make a career in football. The first is because those who have already worked in a similar role or within the industry before are more likely to know what they’re doing, just like with any job.

The second is possibly a little undervalued by those looking to move into football – it shows your love of the game. This is particularly true if you’ve gained that experience at grassroots level or as a volunteer showing that you’re willing to give up your free time to work in football, it suggests that a full time, permanent role would represent much more than just a career to you.

That makes volunteering a powerful thing. What better way is there to get an experience that will serve you well in the long run than by helping out a local club who may desperately need your support? It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Find and apply for the right jobs

Once you’re qualified and have gained some experience, you’ll be in a position whereby you can start applying for jobs in football. There are a number of websites that specialise in roles within the industry which are worth looking at, including JobsInFootball.com. You can also approach various bodies direct to see what opportunities exist.

It can be quite a competitive industry, so don’t lose heart if at first you don’t succeed. After all, a job in the beautiful game will be well worth fighting for.

What jobs are there in football?

Football is about so much more than the 22 players who do battle on the pitch for 90 minutes every weekend. As the industry grows, there are countless new job opportunities cropping up in a whole host of different sectors, ranging from the professional game to grassroots level or even in the recreational sector of the game.

As a result, there has probably never been a better time to try and seek employment in the football industry. Here are just four of the jobs available in football.

Coach

Football coaching is a booming business across multiple levels of football. At the very top of the game, opportunities exist to coach full time at professional clubs with both senior and academy players, regardless of what sort of playing career you had. Thanks to the likes of Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, the notion that you had to have been a successful player to be a successful manager has long been disproved.

Away from elite level, football coaching academies are growing in popularity as more and more children decide they want to take up the sport. At We Make Footballers, we are always looking for new coaches to join our brand and for those who have dreamed of owning their own football coaching business.

Even at the most basic grassroots level, coaches are in high demand. You might only be able to afford to give up a couple of hours a week to the sport, but that will still be hugely appreciated by those who are the lifeblood of the game, turning out every Saturday or Sunday whatever the weather to play just out of love.

Scout

If you’ve got an eye for talent, then you could turn your skills towards finding the next Harry Kane or Jadon Sancho. Because of the desire of clubs to secure the best young talents for their youth programmes, becoming a scout can be profitable and extremely rewarding work.

Sure, the hours can be long as you watch countless young hopefuls take part in matches. But there really is no better feeling than discovering a real talent, helping them start their journey towards the dream of becoming a professional footballer.

Many of our We Make Footballers franchisers combine their coaching work with scouting. For us, it’s a great way to boost the prospects of the best young players who come into their academies by forging links with professional clubs in this manner.

Administration and Management

Away from the pitch, there are a whole host of admin and managerial jobs that keep the football world turning. Club secretaries organise games, sign on players and liaise with relevant leagues. There are similar roles involved with the leagues themselves and County Football Associations – football is played as much on paper as it is on grass.

If you’ve got a head for numbers, then the sport always needs financial experts to help ensure it runs smoothly. It’s well documented how expensive playing the game competitively can be for both clubs and individuals these days and somebody needs to collect the money and pay the bills.

Many of these roles will be a volunteer opportunity at a local level, however, paid positions do crop up at professional clubs as they require qualified people to run the different departments and branches that construct the modern club.

Media

Football has never been so accessible in terms of news and content to the general public than it is now, thanks mainly due to the internet and social media.

Virtually every football club, league, governing body and the majority of players have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts and there are countless websites dedicated to coverage of the sport.

All of these outlets require people to run and write for them, which is where those working in football media come in. Whether it is volunteering your services to tweet about your local non-league team or being paid to write articles for a reputable footballing news and opinions site, there are lots of opportunities to become part of the media world.

Many of those will initially be on unpaid basis, but by gaining experience and earning a reputation for yourself, you could soon find somebody is willing to pay you for your work. It’s another great way to get involved with football.

How can I recruit players for my youth football team?

Whether you are trying to start a new football team or simply looking to boost the numbers of an existing one, player recruitment can be one of the more challenging aspects involved in running a club.

It’s important though. Not only do new players give you more options but they can also help to improve and freshen up a squad by bringing in talent and enthusiasm. In addition to this, they will also create a larger community network within your club.

If you’re struggling to find new players or you just need some ideas for how to get new faces on board, here are four ways to recruit for your youth football team.

Get your club active on social media

The power and reach of social media is astonishing. Over 78% of British internet users have a Facebook account, 47% are on Twitter and 42% have Instagram. If your club doesn’t have an account on any of these platforms, then that is something you need to seriously look into.

Your club can use social media to reach and attract new players in a way that really isn’t possible with any other media. Encourage existing players, your friends and family to share your page and posts about recruitment. You can even ask your respective County FA or league if they can harness their social media following to help.

It costs nothing to post an advert looking for new players and it can be done in a matter of minutes. If it results in just one new recruit, then that makes it worthwhile.

Set up links with a football academy or school

Setting up links with a local football academy can allow you to tap into a whole host of players in the local area. At We Make Footballers, our academies are always open to forging partnerships with clubs as they are mutually beneficial for both parties and help create pathways for players in the game.

From the club’s point of view, it’s a way of accessing new players as well as giving existing ones the opportunity to undertake further professional coaching. From the academy’s point of view, it’s a chance to get individuals playing football for a team in a competitive environment.

You can also connect with schools through the FA’s School Club Links guide, which helps to partner grassroots clubs with local schools and colleges.

Run open training days, tournaments and events

An open day is a brilliant way to help you showcase your club and everything you are about. Pick a date and advertise the day well in advance through posters in the community, social media updates and contact with a local newspaper.

On the day itself, you should look to host a fun event that is a real celebration of football. It needs to inspire people to get involved with the sport and your club, no matter what their ability level.

Set up some friendly matches, offer some free coaching and make things as casual and fun as possible – it goes without saying that the more a player enjoys themselves, the more likely they will be to join.

And that’s the most important part – signing people up. Have a sign-up zone and make it as quick and easy as possible for interested players to leave their details for you.

Create relationships with other clubs in your area

A relationship with another club in your area can not only help your recruitment drive but it can also make you a more attractive proposition for players.

Let’s say you form a link with a local non-league club to become a junior partner with them. They can use their extensive following and name to advertise for new players on your behalf. In return, the link gives them access to your most talented individuals when the time comes for them to step up a level or into adult football.

That link also provides a clear footballing pathway for ambitious players. If they can see that by joining you, there’s the potential to take their career forward with a senior team, then that makes your club a much more attractive option.

Will technology change how children play football?

Technology and football. It’s a subject that needs no introduction. The Premier League has had goal line technology for a couple of years now and it is set to be joined by VAR ahead of the 2019-20 season.

VAR itself is hugely controversial, especially after a summer littered with high-profile incidents across the Women’s World Cup, the European Under 21 Championships and the UEFA Nations League Finals.

Now, nobody is expecting VAR to start popping up in youth league football across the United Kingdom anytime soon. But there are other technologies that could start to change the way our children play football in the very near future.

Artificial pitches increase participation

In case you didn’t know, the United Kingdom is quite a wet country. When the winter months arrive, that means that pitches turn into mud baths which prevent good football being played – presuming matches aren’t cancelled altogether due to waterlogging.

The FA have realised this and are investing vast amounts in 3G pitches up and down the country. The governing body even wanted to sell off Wembley and use the profits to transform facilities for grassroots football, a controversial and yet sensible idea that was eventually blocked by the FA Council. Schools are also building Astro facilities across the country which is also leading to higher participation rates in sport and a safer environment for children.

Still, the revolution continues as modifications to artificial pitches are improving the standard of these types of surface all the time. What’s more, they also encourage passing, possession-based football which can only be good news for the development of technically sound, young English players.

It’s not too hard to imagine a situation in the not-too-distant future when the majority of kids’ football is played on artificial pitches rather than grass.

Advances in video technology and analytics make it easier for games to be filmed

Once upon a time, the only time a kid ever got to watch themselves playing football was if a parent or grandparent had stood on the side lines with a shaky home video camera. Analysis would go as far as somebody stood within earshot, who would normally be moaning about every child on the team but their own.

Video technology and analytics has come on massively over the last five years or so. It’s now easy, cheap and affordable to have training sessions and matches filmed, even at youth level. There are companies out there who will offer this service as well as producing individual clips with a quick turnaround time, allowing coaches and players to analyse their own performances in real depth.

In theory, that should improve the standard of young players in the country. Being able to watch passages of play back and highlight areas which need to be worked on can help players develop both their skills and game management. It can also make for a pretty cool highlights reel on YouTube, too.

DashTag will turn kids into FIFA stars

DashTag is already proving to be hugely popular among young players in America. Although it is yet to take off in quite the same way over here, it does seem to be a question of when, rather than if, it will start to gain traction with British kids.

You might be asking what is DashTag? Well, it’s an app which can be downloaded to an Apple Watch or a specialist sensor and which records all kinds of biochemical and positional data during a game of football, which is then downloaded to the player’s phone.

Speed, mileage, time, acceleration, energy levels and positions are all among the data that is analysed, and most excitingly of all for kids, it is then turned into scores – giving them real-life rankings like those used in FIFA for their performances.

They can then share their scores online, allowing them to compete with their friends to see who had the best performance that day. With a growing number of kids more obsessed with building up their stats on computer games rather than kicking a ball around in real life, it’s hoped that DashTag and technology like it could encourage them to ditch the PlayStation and get out and play the sport properly.

Football is ever growing and ever changing, thankfully despite new technology it still remains the most popular sport. For the latest developments of the football landscape, take a look at our blogs and coaching articles.