Earlier this week, eight UCFB coaching students were given the exclusive opportunity to help out at The Coaches’ Voice conference at Wembley Stadium.

Hearing from the likes of Neil Bath, Head of Youth Development at Chelsea FC, and Steve Rands, Head of Performance at Swansea City FC, the UCFB Wembley students were able to learn from, and network with, the best in this rapidly evolving industry.

With panel discussions from each of these guest speakers, ranging from the breadth of thriving in high pressure environments to the specifics of when a game is won (eight to ten seconds after losing the ball), these coaching and analysis experts were able to share their specialist tips for how to succeed in the sector.

Commenting on what he’s taken away from the conference, Jake Carradus, a BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management student, said: “I learnt how technology is something all coaches now have to be competent with, as it brings great benefits to individual player tracking, team tracking and organisation of club staff.

He added: “Being able to gain information from opposition teams through technological software like Hudl allows for a more accurate representation of what needs to be done to beat the opposition.”

Similarly Plamen Pantev, a recent graduate of the BA (Hons) Football Coaching and Management programme, said: “It was incredible to see how Chelsea FC supports and develops their coaches, as well as their players, by identifying areas for improvement such as presenting, public speaking, technical, tactical and then works with that coach to develop those skills.”

He went on: “The other main takeaway was from Ralf Rangnick, Head of Sports and Development at FC Lokomotiv Mosvow. He said a coach must have a clear coaching philosophy and playing style. If someone tries to do a bit of this and a bit of that, players get confused. His precise words were ‘a bit of this and a bit of that sound like I am a bit pregnant!”

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Jake and Plamen, along with all other UCFB students working at the event, will now have the chance to implement what they’ve learnt in their own coaching roles, at Finchley Football Academy and AFC Wimbledon respectively.

Jake finished: “It will be interesting to take Ralf’s idea of how to transition from defence to attack after losing the ball into my under 13’s side as they start 11 a side, creating an interesting understanding of triggers and what to do when the ball is at specific players feet. I look forward to teaching it.”

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