Last month, England Football Learning’s Club Placement Programme held their 2021/22 Presentation Day at St. George’s Park – a programme MK Dons which took part in.
The Presentation Day brought together the 10 coaches on the programme, including Stuart Robertson who spent last season with the Dons.
Robertson and the other nine coaches presented their experiences and findings from gaining exposure to a professional academy on a season-long placement.
Designed to offer exciting academy placement opportunities for coaches from historically underrepresented backgrounds to thrive in the game and gain exposure to a professional academy environment, the Club Placement Programme forms part of England Football Learning’s Coach Diversity & Inclusion Plan.
Reporting to each club's Head of Coaching, the successful candidates took on a part-time volunteer role within its category 1, 2 or 3 academies. And, through a carefully structured programme of learning and development opportunities, they gained invaluable experience and exposure within a professional environment.
Clubs to have taken part in the 2021/2022 programme alongside MK Dons include Oldham Athletic, Derby County, Southampton, Reading and West Ham United.
Stuart Robertson said: “It has been a brilliant opportunity to celebrate an amazing year, and network with peers in the incredible surroundings of St. George’s Park.
“The Club Placement Programme has been such a great experience, I’m thankful to England Football Learning for creating such an invaluable opportunity and insight into elite coaching, and I’m excited to see what comes next.”
The coaches were joined at the presentation day by Coach Inclusion & Diversity Manager and programme-lead Butch Fazal, Director of FA Education Lucy Pearson and FA Technical Director John McDermott.
Pearson recapped the couches’ journeys and recognised the key partnerships formed with professional clubs across the country before delivering England Football Learning’s game changer objective which aims to deliver a game free from discrimination. McDermott summarised the programmes’ value and shared how The FA and England Football Learning are there to support the coaches in whatever path they take.
The FA Coach Inclusion & Diversity Manager, Butch Fazal, said of the presentation day: “It was great to see the course participants come together and share their learnings from a season in situ with these clubs.
“It’s such a valuable opportunity to give exceptional insight to these coaches who are all keen to advance their careers and support players at different stages of their development.
“We’re committed to opening opportunities from traditionally underrepresented groups within the game and are hugely thankful to the clubs who generously welcomed the coaches and gave such a valuable opportunity so early in their coaching careers.”
To find out more about the Club Placement Programme, and many other courses and programmes being offered by England Football Learning, please CLICK HERE!