By Rebecca Hawksworth

Shortly before he became Crystal Palace’s sporting director, Dougie Freedman gave UCFB students advice on breaking into the football management industry when he took part in an Executive Guest Speaker session at UCFB Etihad Campus.

Having previously managed at Crystal Palace, Bolton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest, Freedman knows what it takes to be hired as a manager, as well as what it takes to keep the job.

A huge part of being a successful manager is ensuring that you have the best 11 players out on the pitch on a match day, as well as always looking to add further strength to your squad during the transfer windows.

Speaking on how best to go about improving your squad as a manager, Freedman said: “Managers are always looking forward to the next game – who could be our next right back? I always had a network of people who were very good at spotting young players, coaching them, and giving up their free time for a couple of tickets, that’s how it worked and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Freedman went on to emphasise the importance of successful managers having a good relationship with their players. He said: “You’ve got to treat the person before the profession, I don’t think it’s all about the profession. I think you’ve got to remind yourself that there’s a person behind that, so the advice I would give and then do is treat them as a person. Build a relationship with your colleagues of trust, honesty and hard work, and from that you can either spread your knowledge or gain knowledge.”

Wrapping up his engaging guest speaker talk, the former Palace, Forest and Southend United forward gave a final piece of advice to UCFB students, stating the importance of education for modern day coaches and managers.

He said: “Education is one of the greatest tools you can get as a football manager. You’re dealing with not just chairmen but finance operators, commercial directors, the media – they’ve all got different agendas to put out. It’s very difficult to deal with different egos and different agendas, so the more education and knowledge you’ve got in understanding them means you can deal with them.”