WHO ARE YA? Simon Lansley, Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League

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Simon Lansley, Head of Marketing & Communications for Street League

1) Who are ya?

Simon Lansley, 41.

2) Who do you support?

Wolverhampton Wanderers, without question the world’s greatest football club!

3) What was your first game?

Derek Dougan’s testimonial, about 1977 I think. In the old Waterloo Road Stand.

4) What do you do for a job?

Head of Marketing & Communications for the brilliant national charity @Street_League, which uses football to tackle youth unemployment. I’m also founder of @ConnectSport, which seeks to raise awareness of projects which use sport for social development. I previously worked in journalism for 15 years, including as Sports Editor / Editorial Director at The Press Association.

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

Yes. Manager for Hamilton Panthers Under-6s!!

6) How did you get into it?

Coached my lad’s team for five years.

7) What do you get out of it?

Perspective. Before a certain age, kids are quite happy to just have fun and try to win a match; it’s adults who are obsessed by league tables. Saw too many dads reliving their football careers through their kids, desperate to win the league whatever the cost. I like winning matches more than most – but not at the cost of kids developing and learning not to panic on the ball.

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

Put the kids first. Make sure they’re always having fun, they’re much more likely to want to learn. I took a lot of pleasure from watching a supposedly ‘weaker’ player grow in confidence through encouragement and guaranteed gametime to become top scorer. Just seeing him and his dad’s pride when he scored was worth all the effort.

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

Better facilities, better English weather, more support for the embattled club stalwarts, but most of all more patience and positivity from the vocal minority on the sidelines.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

Stephen George Bull MBE.

Many thanks, Simon.

Follow Street League on Twitter – @Street_League

Get involved – www.streetleague.co.uk/get-involved

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? Stephen Hughes, Operations Manager for Street League

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Stephen Hughes, Operations Manager for Street League, with the Mayor of Warrington

1) Who are ya?

Stephen Hughes, 37, Glaswegian, Operations Manager for Street League

2) Who do you support?

The famous Glasgow Celtic – first British team to lift the European cup

3) What was your first game?

Davie Provan’s testimonial against Nottingham Forrest in 1987. Forrest won 3-1.

4) What do you do for a job?

I am the Operations Manager for a football Charity called Street League. We deliver sport/employability Academy programmes that support 16-25 yr old NEETs (not in employment, education or training) and get them back into work, College or national training programmes.

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

Not any professional clubs. I have played football up to Amateur level in Scotland. Street League is currently looking at working alongside professional football clubs. For me, in Manchester, the two on the horizon are Bolton Wanderers FC and Oldham Athletic FC.

6) How did you get into it?

I applied for the role with Street League.

7) What do you get out of it?

It’s so rewarding getting people back into work, College or national training programmes so that they can achieve their potential.

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

Be prepared to go above and beyond what is expected of you. Apply yourself in everything you do and no matter what you go on to become, be the best at it.

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

I would put more commitment into my football when I was around 14/15. Looking back then, I probably had the ability to go on and become a professional footballer but I was easily distracted with other things such as girls and generally having a good time.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

I’ve never had a football hero as such. Even growing up my favourite player would change each season. In recent times my football hero would be Henrik Larsson. Not only one of THE best football players ever to grace a Celtic jersey, he was also a remarkably humble human being and was admired by most fans from other clubs as well.

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