Our coach education event with Shropshire FA

UEFA PRO Licence tutor Martin Hunter delivered one of his Principles of Play sessions.

The Coaching Manual

Mar 6th 2024

Written by The Coaching Manual

Earlier this week, The Coaching Manual and Martin Hunter were proud to provide an evening of coach education for around 50 grassroots coaches as part of their new partnership with Shropshire FA.

Hosted at Telford College, UEFA PRO Licence tutor Martin Hunter delivered his Pressing & Support session to a group of under-16 players from Shifnal Town. The session can be found on The Coaching Manual as part of Martin's Principles of Play series.

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Introducing the event, Terry Barton, The Coaching Manual's Head of Product Development, said: "Tonight we're going to be watching Martin Hunter deliver a session on Pressing & Support. This session is available on our platform, but the idea is that coaches can watch the session, then come and watch Martin deliver it himself, and see how he makes adjustments that we'll all have to make based on numbers, the ability of players, those kind of things. That gives coaches a really good opportunity to ask Martin why he did certain things differently from the original session that we created."

Shropshire FA used the event as an opportunity to launch their new membership service Coaches Association – Club 1877, with discounts for The Coaching Manual being one of the benefits of signing up. Everyone who attended on the night was given a free trial of The Coaching Manual's Premium subscription service so they can watch Martin's original Pressing & Support session, his other Principles of Play sessions, and thousands of other pieces of content on the platform.

Terry added: "After the event, you can go away and watch the session back, take those practical things that you've learned and deliver it to your players on the pitch."

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A large part of The Coaching Manual's purpose as a company is to provide its members with the ability to watch how experienced professional coaches deliver sessions, in order to further their own education. The broadcast-quality session videos on the platform are an excellent way for coaches to watch, re-watch, and analyse top coaches like Martin as they deliver their sessions, but The Coaching Manual also values the importance of providing the opportunity to watch coaches deliver sessions in the flesh.

Terry said: "Although we're a digital platform, we have always believed - and will always believe - in allowing people to meet our coaches and deliver in-person events like this. Especially with the current climate of coach education, we think it's really important to give coaches the opportunity to see these sessions on the grass, and ask questions related to what they've seen, or challenges they've faced as a grassroots coach.

"We have worked with Martin Hunter to film a series of practical coach education sessions, focused on the five attacking and the five defending Principles of Play. It's a really important part of our philosophy as a business that coaches learn these principles as a guiding mechanism for how they deliver education to young players. It's a part of coach education that has, slowly but surely over the past 10 years, disappearing from some of the qualifications in the game."

The event was the first in a series of coach education event that The Coaching Manual will deliver for coaches under the umbrella of Shropshire FA, the latest regional Football Association to partner with the world-leading digital coaching platform.

Andy Weston, Strategy & Partnerships Lead at Shropshire FA, told the attendees: "We're delighted to be working with The Coaching Manual this evening. Our partnership is a really exciting opportunity for Shropshire, and we're delighted that you can all be here at this inaugural event."

Terry said: "Since we started The Coaching Manual in 2011 it's always been our intention to support coaches at all levels of the game, but grassroots is a real passion for us as a business. It's something we believe massively in - grassroots is the engine room of football in this country. Being able to support Shropshire FA tonight is a real privilege for us, and the partnership in general is really important to us."

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Martin Hunter is a former Technical Director at Southampton, and has worked in various senior roles in the FA, as well as instructing on the UEFA PRO Licence. The Coaching Manual has worked with Martin Hunter for a number of years, and considers his contributions to coaching invaluable for coaches looking to obtain a well-rounded education.

Terry added: "Martin Hunter is a coach educator with more years' experience than he would probably care for me to mention, but he has been a huge part of our philosophy as a business. He's worked with every single age group with England through the FA, he's a coach educator on the UEFA PRO Licence, and he's a coach with a huge amount of knowledge and a huge amount of experience."

Martin said: "It's a pleasure to be here. There are a lot of 'nouveau' things about coaching, but there's a big difference between old school, and traditional or tried-and-trusted - that's me, I deliver the tried-and-trusted."

For more information about Shropshire FA, visit their website here.

You can watch Martin's Pressing & Support session here.

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