AFC Fylde are certainly in safe hands as manager Dave Challinor works towards his UEFA A License Coaching Badge.
The Coasters boss spent a week at the end of May undergoing the second part of the programme at St George’s Park in Staffordshire – the £105m facility, home to England’s 24 national teams.
Challinor, who has already been busy in the transfer market this summer, admits the course was a welcome break from the demands of football management – even if just for one week!
Challinor said: “They have changed the way they do the A License badges now and this was my second part of it.
“We did five days at St Georges and I will now be assessed back in my own environment with the players here.
“The week was more about networking than anything else really and meeting with people. They were just facilitating conversations and views on football coaching. The coaching aspect is very individual because everyone coaches in a different way.
“Over the past ten years, the way the badges are delivered has changed massively and they continue to do so. And the way people are expected to coach is changing too.
“It was good to get back into a coaching mind-set rather than a management one, which I’ve probably been in for the past six months because it’s been very intense on the managerial side.
“It was a small group of us at St George’s. Stockport assistant manager Mike Flynn was there so there were some conversations in the lead up to signing Lewis (Montrose).
“Ex-Grimsby and Notts County midfielder Paul Bolland was in our group, as was former Blackburn Rovers striker Kevin Gallacher, who I did my youth module with. Burton goalkeeper Stephen Bywater was involved too but a lot of the others were coaches from academies around the county.
“So it was a very mixed group and it was good to get differing views.
“Now we just have to put the coaching hours in and when you feel you are ready to be assessed, you have to put in a request.
“I have to log ten sessions first and then they will come out and decide whether you are ready.
“The final assessment involves leading a 25-minute coaching session and then a 45-minute game. You can either do the coaching as an 11 vs 11 game or go up against another coach who is being assessed.
“They will bring their eleven players to go up against mine and you play 20 minutes, have a half-time where you can tweak things around and then play another 20 minutes.
“That will probably be over the course of next season at some point.”