Professional Player to Coach Scheme
In 2018, the PFA Charity and The FA jointly launched a three-year project to ensure BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) coaching placements across all England teams.
The scheme is designed to increase the visibility of BAME coaches and bring to the fore the coaching talent pool amongst black and minority ethnic coaches.
The PFA initially proposed the project and has committed to jointly fund the three-year initiative with The FA, the programme has now been implemented across England’s men’s and women’s age groups.
BAME male and female coaches will be invited to join the England coaching set up across all The FA’s platforms providing an opportunity to work with elite players, during international breaks.
Sol Campbell was one of the early beneficiaries of the initiative. The former Tottenham and Arsenal star was invited to assist with England’s Under-21s. Campbell, who holds the UEFA Pro Licence has subsequently been appointed to his first managerial post, taking charge at League Two’s Macclesfield Town.
Left: Sol Campbell working with England U21 and Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden. Right: Sol Campbell appointed Macclesfield Town manager.
Other participants have included Brighton first-team coach Paul Nevin, former Wolves manager Terry Connor (who has subsequently been appointed assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland), Nottingham Forest RTC and Nottingham Ladies assistant coach, Alena Moulton and former Newcastle and England midfielder Kieron Dyer.
PFA Trustee, Brendon Batson OBE explained: “The PFA's involvement in the project has been a major one, we first approached The FA last year raising concerns about the lack of visibility of BAME coaches in the national team set up. When you look at the England squads they are very integrated and diverse, but we weren't seeing that being reflected amongst the England coaching staff.”
"Following meetings last September, we agreed a joint initiative, with the main thrust to get more visibility of coaches from the BAME community. We want to see more UEFA A Licensed BAME coaches involved with the both male and female national squads.”
PFA Charity Trustee, Garth Crooks OBE expanded: “The program aims to give the best visibility possible to further the progression of elite BAME coaches working in the game. The most visible experience you can provide a coach is having them on the bench or in the technical area. To achieve this, coaches have to be able to work with and observe players first-hand and this initiative provides both scenarios.”
“Success will be measured by how many qualified BAME coaches we can get through the scheme, giving them the opportunity to work with international players and learn from the experience. This experience will enhance their CV and have an enormous impact on future job opportunities.”
Paul Elliott who chairs The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, said: “The FA now have a clear commitment to giving talented coaches from under-represented groups the chance to work with England teams.
“I have long felt that having more visibility around the national team could only serve to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”