Trevor Francis – The Silverline Winners, adidas

Trevor Francis - The Silverline Winners, adidas

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WHO ARE YA? Andrew Palmer, Football Consultant, mentor and coach

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1) Who are ya?

Andrew Palmer, 42 years old.

2) Who do you support?

I support Liverpool and have done since I was a child, my favourite colour being red, even though I liked Liverpool when we had a black and white TV! My dad told me stories about visiting there when he came from Jamaica. The national team I support is Jamaica as this is where my mum was born and I feel a great affiliation with the country. One day i would like to work for the federation and help create talented players and a great team from there.

3) What was your first game?

My first game playing football was for a schools football team, and we won 4-2.

I’ve also played for Nottinghamshire FA Youth U19s and also semi pro at Eastwood town. and also with Notts County YTS youth team.

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m currently running my own business as a Football Consultant where i help young players find clubs semi pro, pro, or college soccer in America. I also help with self development side of things i.e. dealing with the mental and emotional side of things such as confidence building writing CVs and mentoring. I feel that this is important as the pressures of dealing with playing etc. are so intense that problems arise both physically and mentally.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I’ve worked for Nottingham Schools FA as a coach and a committee member, working with the U11s up to the U15s for Nottingham’s representative sides. I was also the Nottinghamshire FA Youth U19s manager for 8 years, playing in the Midlands County Youth League and also the FA County Youth Cup.

I’ve been a scout for Leicester City for 10 years, and for 3 years set up and ran their first development centre in Nottingham for 8 – 12 year olds.

6) How did you get into it?

I got into coaching etc. when I started doing a FA Coaching badge as I wasn’t sure what to do at the time. I’ve got a degree in design (business) management and was unemployed for 2 years after leaving university at 27. So confidence was low… I had started a design business afterwards to get me out of unemployment but then the coaching came along and things took off from there.

7) What do you get out of it?

I’ve coached children from 5 upwards and I’ve coached young adults and adults too. I’ve coached girls and boys. I’ve worked as a tutor with hard to reach kids. I helped develop and set up Nottingham’s first Futsal team (this was a number of years before what we see now in Futsal in the UK).

I’ve worked with mentoring groups… I’ve coached dads and lads groups… I’ve coached and worked with young adults on my own knife and gun crime project [Nottingham had a bad reputation for knife and gun crime in the 90s and early 2000s – GM], so you can say that I got and continue to get a lot out of it!

I love working with and inspiring people, particularly young people. and also seeing a child go from not being able to turn their foot correctly to pass with their instep to doing it correctly.

Not only that but to teach them life experience whilst coaching too.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

I would say follow your dreams get out their try try and try again and you never know what is around the corner. It led me to being chosen to carry the Olympic torch, and someone wanted to nominate me for an MBE, which I laughed at! “Believe and you will Achieve”.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I wish I was more positive after the set back of unemployment and being down it took me a while to recover. I wasn’t 100% positive – that only came much later.

For me though, I suppose, if I hadn’t gone through depression I wouldn’t have achieved so many things.

I’ve now got a 3 year old son who is reaping the benefits of my tuition and he is already doing step overs, drag backs, dribbling, shooting and passing – crazyyyyy!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I’m not sure i would call footballers “heroes” per se but I’ve got a few footballers that I thought were great (a term used too loosely in the modern game) – Pele Maradona, Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Zidane, Kenny Dalglish, Messi, Franco Baresi, Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer.

Cheers, Andrew. More power to you.

See also thinkfootball.co.uk/archives/938

WHO ARE YA? Andy Jones, FA Get into Football Officer at Salford Community Leisure

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Andy Jones – FA Get into Football Officer at Salford Community Leisure

1) Who are ya?

Andy Jones, age 37, lives Monton, Manchester

2) Who do you support?

Manchester United

3) What was your first game?

It was a long long time ago, so I can’t remember the opposition, but I just remember it was Ron Atkinson’s team, and Ralph Milne had a shocker!!!

4) What do you do for a job?

I currently work for Salford Community Leisure, managing a range of funding projects across a number of different sports. I manage a city-wide football coaching programme called Soccerstars, which has 5 sites and provides grassroots coaching for young players aged 5-11 years.

I previously spent 12 years as a football development officer for Trafford, Manchester City council and then the Manchester FA.

I also coach at a local Junior club, Deans Youth and Ladies, coaching the development centre for 4-6 year olds, plus my sons team, the Under8’s.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Just played my final season for Trafford FC, and I worked for Manchester United at the Carrington training centre every Friday as part of my role with Trafford MBC as MUFC funded the role.

6) How did you get into it?

I worked part time as a Leisure Assistant and a casual coach working in schools at the age of 17 whilst studying leisure management at Salford Uni. From that, I got more experience and got to find out about full time roles.

7) What do you get out of it?

I’ve always enjoyed sports, both watching and competing, so to work in the industry was the ideal job. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some major events such as 2008 Uefa Cup Final, Hyundai World Cup fan parks 2010, and Englands world cup bid 2018

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Be willing to volunteer, or work casual hours to get your foot in the door and build up a good relationship with potential employers. Its more difficult now due to funding cuts within local authorities, but there are still opportunities.

You can build up employment by coaching for a number of different employers. Do coaching badges in a range of sports, and don’t pigeon hole yourself to one sport, as being able to coach a variety of sports makes you more versatile.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I’d try going abroad, probably to the USA to coach on summer camps. I have old friends who did that years ago, and now live out there and have successful careers in coaching football, in the sunshine in LA!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

David Beckham. I’ve been lucky enough to meet him a few times, plus my current favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo – easily the most talented and exciting player I’ve seen play live.

WHO ARE YA? Matt Richardson, Sports Development Professional for Salford Community Leisure

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Salford Lads Club

1) Who are ya?

Matt Richardson, 25 from Manchester

2) Who do you support?

I support Manchester United, it is the only team I have ever followed and have done so for 20 years.

3) What was your first game?

The first ever game I attended was Denis Irwin’s testimonial in August 2000. Although Irwin was at the back end of his career, it was fantastic to watch him live along with the other players.

4) What do you do for a job?

I am currently a Sports Development Professional. This involves working within communities and education aiming to improve social inclusion and rates of young people taking part in sport and physical activity. I run citywide and regional multi-sport competitions. Being able to give young people as many opportunities to try new sports is my main aim.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I have played football at semi-pro level and now play Sunday league.

6) How did you get into it?

I was asked to come down over the pre-season and played for two seasons.

7) What do you get out of it?

My job role – being able to give young people as many opportunities to try new sports as possible, which is very rewarding.

Playing football – to be honest, what I got from playing was that semi-pro football wasn’t for me. The egos from players, who at 26/27 still thought they had an ‘Ian Wright’ chance of being picked up by a bigger club, used to frustrate me. The long match days; meeting before a game, meal before the game, play, drinks after the game. It was too regimented for what I was trying to get out of football, which was being able to play in a team with my friends and for it not to be taken too seriously.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

With regards to my job, volunteer and make connections. It is more rewarding than most. Seeing an event through from planning to delivery is fantastic and getting to work with a wide variety of people makes the role interesting every day.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I would have aimed to take on more responsibility at a younger age, only now am I starting to see rewards for my hard work.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Heroes – Del Piero, Ronaldinho and Dennis Bergkamp. I was obsessed with their technical ability. The goals they have scored and such close control is something I was in awe of.

WHO ARE YA? Rachel Gibson, Business Development Manager & FootieBugs Trainer at FootieBugs Ltd

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Rachel Gibson, FootieBugs Trainer at FootieBugs Ltd

1) Who are ya?

Rachel Gibson, former Goalkeeper for Aston Villa Ladies 1998 -2006

2) Who do you support?

Aston Villa

3) What was your first game?

Villa v Norwich, standing the Holte End on a crate…Villa won.

4) What do you do for a job?

Business Development Manager. I sell the FootieBugs franchises and run the coaches training.

FootieBugs, through its children’s football based activity programmes promotes individuality and encourages this by building confidence and self assurance. We also ensure that children enhance their core skills by playing and learning together with their peers.

As such, the FootieBugs children’s football based activity programmes are designed age appropriately offering a clear step by step activity based programme that can be accessed by all. Together this encourages children to maximise their knowledge and understanding, their eagerness to participate and be part of a team and above all enables children to develop to their full potential

– See more at: www.footiebugs.com/what-is-footiebugs

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I played for Aston Villa Ladies.

6) How did you get into it?

I started playing at primary school and a friend played for Villa and told me to come along to training, so I did.

7) What do you get out of it?

Fun and the enjoyment of playing, making good friends.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Never stop believing.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Nothing.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Iker Casillas

Find out more about Footie Bugs

WHO ARE YA? Cath Smith, Deaf Books

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Cath Smith, DeafBooks

1) Who are ya?

I’m Cath Smith and run DeafBooks, publisher of British Sign Language (BSL) teaching and learning materials and the Let’s Sign Series of dictionaries, guides, posters, flashcards, downloads, apps and kindles – you can see the range on www.DeafBooks.co.uk

Let’s just say I go a long way back and my career in the Deaf community began at the start of the 70’s!

2) Who do you support?

My local team is Middlesbrough – ‘the Boro’

3) What was your first game?

No idea, as it’s lost in the mists of time I’m afraid, but possibly Rochdale as that’s where I’m from originally.

4) What do you do for a job?

I set up and run DeafBooks and have been involved in illustrating, writing and publishing the BSL materials for many years now.  My background is social work with deaf people; I also worked in a deaf school for 18 years and qualified as a BSL/English interpreter.

It was due to this background that the need for such materials became obvious, because there simply wasn’t anything available early in my career.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I haven’t been involved in that work, no – it was Lorri Wilson from Sign4Sport who made the connection for Football Signs.  She works in this field and has specialist knowledge of the subject and the sign vocabulary needed.  She and her colleague recognised the need and contacted me to suggest creating the Flashcards and an accompanying book and we set about doing it.

The sign graphics I’ve developed are very simplistic so that the important information of the handshapes, location and movement are clearly displayed without unnecessary background details or distractions.

The faces are also user-friendly and minimalistic with the ability to convey appropriate basic facial expressions – a crucial factor for clear communication and differentiating meaning.

I have plain line drawing versions which will be in the book but we wanted the flashcards to be in colour to be more visually appealing.  Each card has a single sign and a short and simple description beneath it to help learners understand how to form the sign – they are laminated for protection.

The card set also includes the Fingerspelling alphabet and Handshape Key for the terms we use when describing BSL handshapes in the descriptions.

The cards are designed to appeal to all ages and abilities – not only for Deaf players and those working in that area, but BSL signs are also now widely used to support spoken communication for children and adults who are not deaf but  may have additional speech and language difficulties or who have special educational needs.

6) How did you get into it?

I enjoy creating materials when there is a recognised need and it’s good to work with people who clearly know their stuff.

7) What do you get out of it?

New materials are always exciting and obviously it’s what I do for a living.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Listen to other people but be clear in your own mind about what can and can’t be done.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Impossible to say, things just develop and go where they will.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

The one and only George Best.