By Rebecca Hawksworth

UCFB students have been working alongside former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan to help promote Sensible Soccer – a company providing FA approved coach education.

Phelan, a director at the company, has taken a number of students on work placements in various media and marketing roles. UCFB academic David Horrocks also leads the project alongside Phelan, which aims to develop grass roots football as well as providing equipment for coaches.

Students have been given almost free reign in deciding how to promote the company and its events, giving them a greater understanding of how a start-up business operates.

Rebecca Hawksworth has been handling media work, Jake Young the business and social media side of things, and Luke McAvoy has taken responsibility for analysing coaching sessions.

Rebecca, a BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student said: “Since starting I have been able to attend various football coaching sessions led by Mike and Dave at clubs like Sale United and Curzon Ashton. They have been fantastic in allowing me to have a free reign with how I promote the company and I have been able to carry out various tasks that I have not previously had much experience in, such as interviewing coaches and photography.”

BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student Jake commented on how his role is developing him in the world of football: “The opportunity has taught me a lot about what happens behind the scenes of running a business and I am constantly adapting to changes and a trend in the online community, as the social media strategy is an important part of building a successful company.”

Luke, a BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance student, added: “I’ve been taking some of Mike’s coaching sessions and putting them into a coaching animation software to create some coach education content.

“Being on the finance programme at UCFB, it’s obviously not the usual work experience that a student would look for, but as I’ve got a good background in coaching I am quite open minded to trying new things.”