Job title Primary Stars Mentor
Employer Reading FC Community Trust
Phil Stafford is a Primary Stars Mentor for Reading FC Community Trust and supports the Premier League Primary Stars program. He has been football coaching for the past 14 years and began his coaching career with Albion In The Community (Brighton & Hove Albion FC) with just one coaching session a week.
Following 6 and a half years at the club he secured a full time position with Reading FC Community Trust. Here he outlines his role within the Premier Stars program and offers advice for young people looking to establish a career in sports coaching.
“Supporting and mentoring teachers”
Can you tell us about your current role at Reading FC Community Trust and the Premier League Primary Stars program?
As a Primary Stars mentor my role involves working in local primary schools in Berkshire supporting and mentoring teachers as part of the Premier League Primary Stars Program.
“Highlight to teachers and pupils the important life skills Physical Education can support.”
What are your main responsibilities?
To mentor and upskill teachers through CPD to help them deliver Physical Education lessons. Peoples perception towards PE and sport can be challenging and therefore my role is to highlight to teachers and pupils the important life skills Physical Education can support.
Monday is my planning day because Tuesday to Friday I’m out in the local community with local schools delivering all aspects of PE, PSHE lessons and football sessions.
“The more you put yourself out there, the more you get in return.”
How to become a football coach?
I have been football coaching for 14 years now. I left school in 2006 and soon enrolled onto my level 1. I started my coaching career with Albion In The Community (Brighton & Hove Albion FC) with just one coaching session a week but my eagerness to impress and volunteer as much as possible created more opportunities for me to coach football.
During my time at the club I worked my way up in the organisation taking on more responsibility, leading more sessions and took part in 4 end of season tours with our development centre players.
In 2019 I achieved my UEFA B in coaching football which allows me to coach within a academy set up. 11 years after I first passed my level 2. The best advice I can offer any young person is to be humble, volunteer as much as possible as it gives you a invaluable insight into a club set up. The more you put yourself out there, the more you get in return. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some amazing experiences and it’s come through hard work and perseverance.
What experience is required to become a children’s football coach?
A open mind, willingness to learn, patience working with children and a positive attitude.
If you’re looking to gain experience working with children or in other sports industries then check out our workshops and jobs sections, where you find up-to-date opportunities and job openings to gain learn and gain knowledge of the industry first-hand.
“Understanding of all aspects of football training,”
What skills and knowledge is required to become a football coach?
To become a football coach I’d say the skills required are an understanding of health and wellbeing, excellent organisation skills, and a excellent understanding of all aspects of football training, positions and tactical ideas.
“Your enthusiasm speaks volume.”
What opportunities are there for young people keen to become a football coach?
If you want to be a football coach there are lots of opportunities and the more you put yourself out their and show a willingness to learn, the more people will reward you in return!
Show your enthusiasm for the sport or sports coaching role you are applying for. Skills can be taught but your enthusiasm speaks volume.
When considering career in mentoring and teaching, why not consider where you are working? There are opportunities to work in the sports industry abroad as well. Have a read of our articles about travelling the world with a football career or work placement abroad to find out more about working abroad.
“Plan and deliver”
What was the best advice you were given?
Plan and deliver a coaching session you yourself would like to be apart of.
“Amazing and unique opportunities”
What are three great things about being a football coach for the Premier League Primary Stars program?
- It changes daily
- Working with children
- Accessing some amazing and unique opportunities
“Coaches who don’t take things seriously”
What are three challenges as a football coach?
- Pick yourself up quickly after a ‘bad’ session
- Changing peoples perception of sport and Physical Education
- Working with coaches who don’t take things seriously as you would hope
Being a football coach is an incredibly rewarding job which has endless opportunities to work with lots of different people to help them learn and enjoy the sport, if this is the job for you then read our article about how to get become a football coach. If you’re don’t think teaching football is the career for you but you still want to be working in sport, then read our other profiles from professionals industry talking about what they do for a living.