The Academy coach puts children on their first step of their football journey where it still needs to be fun...
Here at PUSB matchday programme, we want you to feel closer to your team and bring you exclusive behind-the-scenes insight from Coventry City. So, throughout the season, the ‘View from Ryton’ will give you a look into the day-to-day operation at CCFC.
Today, it’s the turn of U5-U11 Lead Coach Jackson Moody.
Firstly, I should introduce myself. I’m Jackson and I’m the Lead Coach for the pre-Academy stage and the foundation stage of the Academy. I do the coaching for the Under-5s all the way up to the Under-11s. I honestly think it is the best role at the club as I get to teach the young children about the game and it is always rewarding. The children are signed as Academy players at the age of eight so up until that point, we’re able to take a good look a whole spectrum of children at training.
This has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that we’re able to assess a wide number of players during this period before having to sign them up and because of the work of our Head of Recruitment Scott Curry, we’re constantly assessing plenty of young players from Coventry and Warwickshire. The disadvantage is that because the players aren’t signed up, they’re still free to train with other clubs and with the best players, they can very often have a choice of who they join.
That’s why I hugely focus on making the coaching sessions fun, instructive and engaging as the quality of our coaching at the Academy will often prove the difference in players coming to us rather than some of the other big clubs in the area. We’ve done really well this year in that respect as we had three different players who were training at other clubs but they chose to come to us. I think it shows the coaching programme we’re delivering is appealing to the very best young talent in the Midlands.
Now, a lot of people reading this might be thinking ‘how do you know a good player at such a young age?’ and yes, it is really difficult. Lots of factors come into it. For instance, you’ve always got to take the players birth year into it at such a young age because players in the same group might be 11-months apart which represents a lot of development at that stage.
It’s also important to look for a variety of different attributes in young players. So, there might be a player who has developed and has a lot of physical attributes, like being a strong runner or able to tackle well but maybe hasn’t developed the technical side of things. Well, we might look at bringing him in because as coaches, it is our responsibility to develop that technical side of the game. It also works the other way. Technical players who aren’t as physically developed will always be given a chance as it is hoped that when they come into this elite environment, they will respond in the desired way.
Now it’s coming towards the end of the season, the boys do have a break. Today is a huge day for them as they’ll be signing their contracts on the pitch before the game to welcome them on their first step as a Coventry City player.
Thanks for reading,