Gareth Southgate was at UCFB Wembley this week to speak to students about his career and pass on key advice to aspiring football and sport professionals.

Around 500 students gathered to hear from the England manager as he told tales from his playing and managerial career, advised students on how to deal with adversity at the highest level and revealed why England fans should be excited about the future.

The hour long talk at Wembley Stadium was part of the unique UCFB Executive Guest Speaker Series and was dominated by questions from students covering areas including links between the senior team and youth groups and how education is a vital tool in the modern football industry.

Commenting on his time at UCFB, Southgate, who was appointed England manager in November 2016, said: “It’s really exciting that there’s a centre of excellence for people who want to go and work in our industry and across other sports. There are great opportunities to learn, not just about being an athlete or being a coach, but all of the other areas that you might go into within sport.”

He added: “There are so many aspects that go into running a stadium like Wembley or running a successful club. Clubs now want experts in all of those fields with the education that is more specific to those areas.”

Student Paula Wood, who studies BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting, said the talk gave her an insightful look at the job of an international manager. She added: “I really liked Southgate’s thoughts on expanding opportunities and getting more women and further diversity into the game. It was a positive and encouraging talk and has inspired me to keep following my dreams and work hard.”

Fellow student, Albert Bosch-Bassols, a BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student, added: “Listening to Gareth Southgate was an inspirational experience. Being England manager comes with a lot of pressure, so it was interesting to hear how he deals with the players, staff, clubs and the media.

“He was very knowledgeable and completely aware that he is an England ambassador 24 hours a day. His views on social media, academies, the national team’s identity and women’s football were particularly relevant.”

Danny Cook was also full of praise for the England manager. The BA (Hons) Football Business & Media student said: “It was fantastic to listen to a guest speaker of this profile. There aren’t many people in football in higher positions than the England manager. 

“I’ve been to most of the guest speakers during my two years at UCFB Wembley and I always try to take something away from each session, whether that be John Motson’s vocal talents which kept you glued to his every word, Nick Hewer, or Gareth Southgate’s incredibly genuine character.”