The AFC Fylde Community Foundation is launching a new partnership with McDonald’s, to deliver a unique education programme for football coaches throughout Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. 

Launching in September 2017, the scheme aims to help aspiring coaches further their career in football by developing their skills and abilities.  

Over a six week period, staff at the Foundation will provide aspiring coaches with valuable experience and one-to-one mentoring to help them to attain an AQA Level 2 qualification in the Principles of Coaching Football.

Weekly sessions will be hosted at Mill Farm Sports Village’s new Football Development Centre, with local junior team coaches encouraged to apply for a place on the programme, subject to them having already achieved an FA Level 1 qualification in Coaching Football. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Over the next 12 months, it is estimated that 60 coaches will complete the course, which is being delivered free of charge to participants, thanks to an initial £3,000 grant from McDonald’s.  

Tom Hutton, director of community development at the AFC Fylde Community Foundation, said: “This partnership is the start of an exciting new scheme that aims to improve the quality of football coaching in the region, while helping individuals to further their career in the sport.”

Nigel Dunnington, McDonald’s franchisee for the Preston and Blackpool area, said: “McDonald’s has been a proud sponsor of The FA for 15 years, making a positive impact on grassroots football. Locally, we share the same vision, sponsoring 11 junior football teams across the Lancashire and Fylde region. 

“Our new partnership with the AFC Fylde Community Foundation sees us take this one step further by giving aspiring volunteer football coaches the opportunity to develop their own skills by providing free one-to-one mentoring from professional coaches at the foundation, with the aim that participants will then go on to achieve FA qualifications.

“On behalf of everyone at McDonald’s, I’m delighted to have been able to supply this grant, which will give local youngsters a better footballing education, from more experienced and qualified coaches.” 

All adults who successfully complete the course will be invited to experience the hospitality at AFC Fylde during the current season, and presented with their qualifications on the pitch during half time.