England manager Gareth Southgate has a clear message for UCFB students working towards a career in the football and sports industry – be prepared to work hard.

You’re not in an industry that is 9-5, Monday to Friday,” he said. “So you’re going to have to be in for long unsociable hours.”

Southgate was speaking to UCFB Wembley students as part of the Executive Guest Speaker Series. In a wide ranging talk covering his playing and coaching career, the former Aston Villa defender added: “The basics of a good work ethic are at the heart of anything. You need to be willing to learn and improve all the time. You always must be thinking how to get a result tomorrow but with an eye to six months or a year down the line.”

A big part of the England manager’s talk was the importance of education and constant improvement for aspiring coaches. He said: Part of coaching is having a thirst for knowledge and improving. You need to be always looking for new ways of working and new methods of getting the players to understand your messages.”

He added: “You’re constantly looking for an edge that might help you improve as a team.”

One edge Southgate has utilised is his unique relationship with Eddie Jones, head coach of the England rugby union team. He said: To compare different sports is interesting because they have similar problems that they approach in a different way, so that sharing of information is good. Eddie runs a national team as well so there are some similarities in some of the bigger problems you face.”

He added: “There are areas around national set-ups that are unique – not only the time you have the players, but also the media interest and the challenge of building a culture in a short period of time.

“It was great for him to look at what we did, make observations and challenge things as a different coach. And then we did the same when we travelled and watched them work – and see what might work for us and help us improve.