Technical Director for the FC Bayern franchise in Connecticut
BA (Hons) Sport Development 2014
Tell us about your time at the University
My time at UWS was excellent, I joined the University into 2nd year following 2 years at Glasgow Met college doing a similar course HND Sport Coaching with Development of Sport. UWS was thoroughly recommended by both lectures and people who I spoke with after having interviews for both Sport Coaching and Sport Development I chose to study a BA (Hons) Sport Development.
Throughout the three years with UWS I developed my knowledge within the profession extensively. The lectures were always informative and engaging and fuelled my passion to learn and experience more about sport development, program management and how football and sport can be the heartbeat of a community. 4th year was a highlight where I balanced several industry roles with coursework but came away with a 2:1. I made several lifelong friends while at University and remain in contact sharing best practice from their industry.
The support, guidance and information I received while a student at UWS has been invaluable as I progress my career as a football development professional across the globe.
Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University
Throughout University I engaged with coaching and program development with several agencies including professional clubs, active schools and the Scottish FA. On graduating I moved into a full-time role with Greenock Morton FC holding a senior input into the club’s community program while coaching the clubs U17 team. Later in 2015 I remained a part time employee at the club within the youth academy leading sport science delivery and coaching the clubs U16 & U17 teams, however my day job was Youth and Community Coach for Street League- an employability charity which use sport and more specifically football to engage 16-24 year olds who have disengaged with employment and education.
Understanding and studying social issues and the theories behind disengagement were extremely helpful in my role with Street League. My dissertation in 4th year was centred around the benefits of social inclusion programs and their success in engaging members of the community who are experienced with barrier to steer clear from potential problems and instead focus on productivity through sport and football.
In early 2016 following successful achievement of the UEFA B License I accepted an offer from Global Premier Soccer- The Official Youth Development partner of FC Bayern to move to the USA. My current role as the Technical Director for the franchise of Connecticut targets me with leading all soccer operations and logistics for the state. I participate in monthly conference calls with the FC Bayern academy in Germany learning about the training and preparation methodology of one of the best youth academies in the world.
A key role of mine is to then implement an exuberant technical and performance based curriculum within our stand alone and partner programs, creating outstanding learning environments through providing the tools and delivering best practice coach education encouraging everyone to be the best they can. I still get to get on the field leading the FC Bayern ID project for the state coaching some outstanding young players providing them exercises, information and the tools to improve as players and people is excellent.
The presentation, communication and interpersonal skills I developed while at UWS have been extremely beneficial even if getting up in front of everyone to do a presentation was the most nerve racking experience of University.
If you could offer one piece of advice or top tip to current students what would it be?
Network, learn and experience those three things are vital. Network within the industry you want to work, create relationships and learn from the people who are in the job. Get meaningful experience volunteer and get feedback. Always look at how you can add to your CPD to be the best possible candidate when applying for the role you want.
What is that drives you on in your professional life?
I love learning, coaching and getting out there providing the best opportunities for young people to reach their potential, from when I was involved at Morton several of the lads have gone to play in first team or at another team in Scottish Football and its good seeing those guys playing there. I suppose being able to go to work every day and being able to have an impact on someone where it is a u17 pushing towards college or a U8 who develops their confidence all within the game of soccer makes it all worthwhile.