Bobby Robson and Jose Mourinho at Porto ()Bobby Robson and Jose Mourinho at Porto () © Copyright

Teach the world to football

Football is the greatest gift England has given to the world. And with the popularity of the Premier League, there’s never been a better time to make the most of your passion and your passport.

Tens of thousands of people leave school every year without a plan in the way of career opportunities. And most would consider any career in football a dream job – albeit an entirely unattainable one.

Well, companies like Liverpool-based network LLS give people a pathway to a career in the beautiful game, so we went to their Global Coaches conference at Hotel Football to find out more.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Joe Mulhearn, 28, and Jordan Wright, 29, set up LLS eight years ago while they were students and part-time coaches. The programmes they run now produce over 300 FA  qualified coaches a year, and have sent 57 to six countries in 2016.

“Of all our pathways, becoming an international coach is easily the most popular,” explains Mulhearn. “Having English FA qualifications and the relevant experience opens doors to employment in developing football countries, with this year’s most popular destinations being Colombo and Shanghai. The packages can vary significantly, but most graduates select their destination based on where they would most like to experience.”

Terry Venables  ()

    

THE LEGACY

The boys and girls of LLS are following a rich tradition of British coaches abroad. Rory Smith is the chief soccer correspondent of the New York Times and the author of Mister, a celebrated book about the Englishmen who taught the world how to play the beautiful game. Many of his subjects, like 91-year-old Alan Rogers, are totally unknown in the UK, but are bona fide heroes in other countries (16 other countries, in Rogers’ case).

Smith’s book plots the path of English coaching from former Spurs manager Vic Buckingham to his protégé Johan Cryuff, through to Terry Venables and Pep Guardiola (see below).

“Wherever you end up, you might win trophies and find fame,” Smith tells a group of 50 LLS coaches.

“And you might not find the next Pep, but you do have a chance to influence people’s lives. If you keep your eyes open and are willing to take the plunge, there are opportunities to leave a legacy.”

Jurgen Klopp celebrates with Liverpool players ()

 

THE COACH

Adam Howard is an 18-year-old from Ormskirk, who became aware of LLS aged 14. After doing his GCSEs (and a trial), he was invited to enroll on LLS’ two-year college course. Aspring coaches are encouraged to do extra volunteer work, and throw themselves in at the deep end. Adam spent eight weeks in Kansas and four days in Finland, helping to run a training camp for Finnish kids who couldn’t speak any English. “It was a bit of a challenge,” he says. “But I’d love to go back to Finland. It had an edge to it. America and England are kind of the same, but Finland is totally different – and I really enjoyed it.”

Howard’s end-goal is to join Liverpool, and his plan to get there involves teaching in primary schools, gaining further coaching qualifications, and watching a lot of football. “I love watching how Jurgen Klopp addresses his players, how goalkeepers respond in certain situations, how warm-ups go before the game, and how all of that translates to the play,” he says.

Clearly, Howard is a man on a mission – and given the incredible opportunities open to young English coaches with a lust for adventure, he’s guaranteed to have a fantastic time, wherever his journey ends up taking him.

Photos: Getty images

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