Collymore offers way forward for English football

TalkSPORT presenter Stan Collymore has called on the Football Association to shake up their coaching and development structure to benefit the future of English football.

The outspoken pundit has outlined proposals that he hopes will “start the ball rolling amongst coaches, journalists, players (amateur & pro) as to the best way forward for the England national team to be successful.”

Amongst the proposals posted on Twitter, the former Liverpool star calls on the FA to “make coaching badges more affordable for aspiring coaches” and provide “a clear pathway for coaches to be able to make coaching a viable vocational path”.

He calls on the FA to “provide a clear framework and vision for English coaches to work to”, drawing on the expertise of established coaches from both the professional game and amateur game, adding that “most amateur coaches” that he speaks to “do not feel their voices are heard, or wanted.”

The former Liverpool star has also called on parents to leave coaching to the football coaches.  “Too many parents want to live their lives through their kids at youth football,” he says. “Drop them off, and pick them up. Let the coaches coach,without barking parents present.

On the pitch, Collymore wants to see a framework that embraces English football values – with “organisation, discipline, commitment, tempo” at the core – and gets away from a mentality of copying the World Champions that he believes has “hampered English football since we lost our way between 1966-1971”.

He criticises a succession of “weak, unimaginative FA leaders” and, whilst he welcomes Sir Trevor Brooking and Gareth Southgate as “the faces of the change” at the FA, he calls for “people who offer new, fresh imaginative thoughts on the game” and who “challenge and inspire.”

Southgate, who is approaching the end of his first year as the FA’s Head of Elite Development, replied to Collymore:

“Some good points but you should also come and see us for full overview of what’s being worked on. Happy to meet any time.”

We’ll keep an ear to the ground to see if that meeting happens.

Collymore’s concerns for English football

Here is Stan Collymore’s six-point plan for English football, in his words:

“I could write a book on the concerns of forward thinking fans,coaches,managers and journalists on the state of the direction that English football is going but it’s easier to just put them in bullet points,so here goes with just a small flavour…

1. Make coaching badges more affordable for aspiring coaches.

2. Offer a clear and direct route for qualified coaches to get work both at clubs,and through St Georges Park.

3. Its our national sport and through the Premier League one of our most successful exports,so why doesn’t government/Premier League/FA/PFA offer bursaries to aspiring coaches both to stay here and learn and also go abroad to expand their football knowledge?

4. Forget copying any other country, lets get SAF [Sir Alex Ferguson], Gradi, Carr, Wenger, Dalglish, Redknapp plus former great players like Zola, Bergkamp, Beckham around a table with long time amateur coaches, and young potential English AVB’s [André Villas-Boas] and flesh out a clear and concise plan for the game moving forward. Addressing short,medium and long term objectives. We have the talent, let’s use it, instead of the “safe” names that the FA currently employ. Take risks.

5. Take parents out of kids football coaching development. Too many parents want to live their lives through their kids at youth football.Drop them off,and pick them up.Let the coaches coach,without barking parents present.

6. More entrepreneurs to get involved in stand alone academies.David Beckham & Glenn Hoddle academies have proved that there is a gap to be filled by these ventures,giving young kids an alternative to learn without being merely a club stat,and again giving aspiring coaches a realistic vocational avenue to pursue.

These are only 6 points,and there could be 666 points to be honest if we are serious about change.”

Have your say!

What do you think about Stan Collymore’s suggestions for English football? Have your say in our comments section below.

To read Stan Collymore’s proposals in full please click here.

If you are on Twitter you can find Stan Collymore at @StanCollymore and Gareth Southgate on @GarethSouthgate.

Stan Collymore will be discussing many of the issues outlined in his talkSPORT show with Mark Saggers this evening, so make sure you tune in to talkSPORT to have a listen – or even have your say – from 7pm.

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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. Darren Waters on November 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I agree with Stan on the price of coaching courses, the FA are pricing us out of the market and making it near impossible to take courses. Also if you can’t afford the courses you can’t renew your FA licence club as part of the criteria to keep your membership up to date.


  2. Lewis Evans on December 1, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Totally agree with the price of coaching courses, I recently brought this up at a county in-service day and was told that after reaching level 2 and youth module 2 why would I want to go any further at grassroots as that should be enough for what I am doing, I couldn’t believe my ears and replied that I wanted to provide the best quality coaching at grassroots and that the courses should be made more affordable for volunteer coaches and amateur clubs, there is enough money in the game so why should a volunteer pay the same price for a UEFA B course as an ex professional, the FA want quality at grassroots, but what they really want is to choose the coaches themselves from the pro game to do it.

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