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? Steve Jenkins, Grassroots Coach, Head of Coaching at Brighton Soccer Club Melbourne

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Steve Jenkins, Grassroots Coach, Head of Coaching at Brighton Soccer Club Melbourne

1) Who are ya?

Steve Jenkins, 51. Grassroots Coach, Head of Coaching at Brighton Soccer Club Melbourne (1000 + players). Run LinkedIn group Kids In Teams

2) Who do you support?

Arsenal

3) What was your first game?

Arsenal v Wolves (2-1) 1977 at Highbury

4) What do you do for a job?

Business Consultant/It Consultant own Business

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

Just as a volunteer

6) How did you get into it?

Just put my hand up

7) What do you get out of it?

So much – great to see kids playing, enjoying, learning, growing…

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

Do It

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

Learn to use my left foot as soon as I started walking!

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Dennis Bergkamp

Cheers Steve.

WHO ARE YA? Simon McMenemy

photo11) Who are ya?
 

My name is Simon McMenemy, I am 35 years young. I was born in Aberdeen, Scotland but have lived in England most of my life.

2) Who do you support? 

I support Glasgow Celtic. My Dad is a Celtic fan, as a Catholic family in Scotland, there was never any doubt I would be brought up in Green and White hoops. I try to get to a minimum of 2 games a year no matter where I am in the world.

3) What was your first game? 

My first game was a Scottish cup game between Celtic and Dundee Utd at Celtic Park. I could only have been 7 or 8. I remember my Dad sitting me on the rails that you used to lean against in the standing area. Current Scotland Assistant Manager Mark McGhee scored for a 1-0 win and the stadium erupted. The guy in front of me grabbed me and hoisted me up like I was some kind of cup. Amazing memories. I was hooked on the atmosphere at that ground ever since.

4) What do you do for a job? 

I am a professional football coach. I have been coaching since the age of 16. I have coached in 18 different countries at all levels from U5’s to full National team Level. I have been lucky enough to work with players like Fabregas and Ronaldinho while working at Nike. During 2010, FIFA confirmed I was the youngest national team manager in world football as head coach of the Philippines National Team. I was fortunate enough to take them to their highest ever world ranking and further then they have ever been in the Suzuki Cup, SE Asia’s European Championships. We reached the semi finals defeating the defending champions in their home stadium in what ESPN called one of the top Football stories of 2010.

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

I played to a semi professional level in the UK, and a couple of pro clubs abroad. My coaching work has led me to represent Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Arsenal, Northampton Town, Mitra Kukar FC (Indonesia), Pelita Bandung Raya FC (Indonesia) Dong Tam Long An FC (Vietnam) and of course the Philippines National Team. While working for Nike, I was “The Nike Guy” at all clubs so my job was to be on training ground of most clubs in the UK.

6) How did you get into it? 

I always wanted to be a professional footballer. Never wanted to be anything else. It got to a point where I realized maybe I wasn’t quite good enough so my only other way into football was to coach. I had always enjoyed coaching and was keen to make it my full time career. I worked at lots of community schemes coaching young players and ended up working in Brighton and Hove Albion Community Scheme full time. During that time I worked with every social grouping trying to tackle issues using football as a vehicle from obesity, anti social behavior, mental health, social depravity, and many more. From there Nike asked me to come work for them. Eventually a chance opportunity came to coach the Philippines National team. I jumped at it. During my short time there, we experienced unprecedented success, which led me to further contracts in Vietnam and Indonesia and has opened the door to a career at and elite professional level.

7) What do you get out of it? 

Apart from now being a professional football coach, I have travelled to countries all over the world. Football is a language that the world can speak. I have spent time with people who speak no English, yet can communicate using either football terms or by playing the game. It has given me an experienced viewpoint of not only the game, but of different cultures in general. Football has shaped my life. Every major decision I have made in my life has been to do with football. It has given me great friends, friends I still speak to everyday. Sometimes knowing people through football has gotten me out of scrapes as a youngster growing up. As I look back over my 35 years, had I not played football constantly as a youngster, watched every game on tv, travelled the world to share my passion for the game, I would not be the person I am today such is the extent that football has affected my life’s journey.

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

Well, I have had a good chunk of luck in my career but I have always put myself in positions for good things to happen to me. I have worked for little money coaching all over the UK. I have tried to gain as much experience and possible, and I have networked whenever and wherever I could. I have also tried hard never to burn bridges when working. Every contact could be someone to assist you in the future. There are thousands of coaches out there, you have to do you’re job so well, that people remember you, whether that’s kids, parents, teachers, owners, anyone and everyone.

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

To be totally honest, nothing. I try to take opportunities when they arise and get my head down and work hard to hang on to them. In 2009 I broke my leg in a tackle playing semi professional. At the time that cost me my job at Nike working with Ronaldiho and co. Would I pull out of that tackle if I had the opportunity? No, because losing the job at Nike meant I was trying hard to get back into football, it was then that the Philippines opportunity arose. Had I been still at Nike, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?
 

My heroes in football would be Kenny Dalglish and Henrik Larsson. These are the players I would pretend to be as I banged in a goal between the jumpers playing with my mates. Both incredible footballers. But my biggest hero, probably the one that has had the biggest effect on me, someone I try to emulate, impress, and look up to……. My Dad.