Football Futures Blog

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Welcome to the Football Futures Blog, where our Young Leaders can showcase the fantastic work they have been doing to give themselves a platform for opportunity.

Nade Ward – Youth Council Coach Officer

Nade Ward

"As a kid I loved playing football, whether it was for my local Sunday league team, high school team or even just a kick about up the park with my mates, from this I knew I always wanted to stay involved in the game throughout my life!

At the age of 16 I began my coaching journey, supporting Caister Roma FC U12s-U15s coaching sessions. I started off just simply setting up small sided games, acting as ball boy and clearing the equipment away after training. Since then, because of my hard work, determination and with the help of others around me, I have developed all the way to becoming an FA Level 2 qualified football coach who has also completed Youth Award Modules 1 and 2, allowing me to lead on coaching sessions for youth players of all ages and abilities on a regular basis.

Being on the Football Futures program as a Norfolk County FA Ambassador has given me a full range of experiences within football. As part of the program I volunteer at most County FA events. These events include; Youth Cups, Festivals of Football, Cup Finals and supporting FA Skills coaching sessions. I have completed over 250 hours of volunteering since I was selected to be a part of the program.

My current roles within football are; Norfolk County FA Football Futures Ambassador, Norfolk County FA Youth Council Coach Officer, SSE Wildcats Girls Football Club (Girls Mini Soccer Centre) Head Coach at theFDC@Flegg and Head Coach for football themed birthday parties delivered at the FDC and theFDC@Flegg.

My ambition is to travel the world, teaching the key skills of football to children of all ages and creating memories that will last a lifetime. I am currently looking to take my first step in coaching overseas and hope that in the future I can say that I have been a positive influence as a football coach in many different countries".

Sam Woodruff – Youth Council Male Participation Officer

Ben Woodruff

"My coaching journey started 4 years ago when I was playing for Hethersett Athletic Under 14’s. My manager told the squad that there was a Junior Football Leader (JFL) course coming up with the FA and I was curious so went along. It was a 1 day course which made me reconsider my future within football; I became more interested in the coaching side. The course required 4 to 10 hours of coaching as a volunteer; I completed this within 4 weeks and haven't looked back.

The key thing to keep me in coaching was finding a friendly club that let me get lots of experience and I found this with Tasburgh United. My younger brother played there and by chance there was an under 12 team in need of some enthusiasm and experience, so together me and Ben took it on.

After 2 years of coaching the same team we both moved to the under 7 team to try and turn them into a team ready for a league. In this time I have participated in 2 Norfolk FA Football Futures Camp which have increased my knowledge and helped to improve my delivery of sessions. But to me the most important thing is experience, I have around 200 hours of voluntary coaching and each of these hours has made me more confident and a better coach, and without them I would not have had the confidence to apply for the youth council. I applied for two roles within the council, an office and a committee member, I was optimistic about my ability to get a committee member but I never thought I'd get the position of an officer.

The interview process was tense and nerve racking for me but it was a brilliant experience allowing me to gain confidence in interviews and presentations. After being told I was chosen to be the Youth Male Participation Officer I was excited to get started and I'm looking forward to more experiences to come. 

Over the next two years I would like to carry on volunteering as a football coach, at different levels. My aim is to get 300 hours by this time next year, but I'd like these hours to be quality and helpful for the young people that I coach.

I would also like to help better the Youth Council from my position as Participation Officer, and see more young people playing and enjoying football over the next two years."

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