Steven Beddard (Coach Education Tutor and Rochdale FC Academy Coach) ‘My Coaching Journey’ 4th January 2016
- Life long Man City fan fell in love with football at a young age
- Playing highlights include fixtures at Old Trafford, Etihad and Wembley
- Rochdale FC Academy coach advises aspiring coaches to ‘get out their comfort zone’
Since I can remember I have always been a Manchester City fan. My first match was at Maine Road in 1990 were we were up against Sheffield United. I sat on the wall in the Kippax stand with my brother whilst my dad and uncle stood on the terraces and I can clearly remember Vinny Jones being sent off and City winning the game 2-0. I’ve had a season ticket ever since with my favorite memory being Sergio Aguero’s last minute winner against QPR to secure the Premier League title in 2012.
My earliest memory of playing sport was for my school, Holy Trinity Primary School. As the school was only small we didn’t have much success. I also played for my local junior side Littlebrough JFC at weekends which, having a wider range of talent and abilities, proved to be a lot more prosperous.
From the moment I first kicked a ball I was hooked and I have continued to play ever since. My highlights include playing at the Etihad and Old Trafford but the best of all was playing at Wembley were my team was managed by the peerless David Ginola!
Given my early passion for sport, football in particular, it was always my aim for it to be the focus of my career. It was, therefore, a natural progression for me to study sports in Sixth Form and go on to achieve a Sports Science Degree at Liverpool John Moores University. It was at University that I was first bitten by the “coaching bug”. I went on to achieve my FA Level 1 and 2 qualifications and subsequently given the opportunity to manage the University’s 1st team.
After finishing University equipped with a degree, coaching qualifications and great experience, I secured a role as a post-16 tutor training the next generation of sports industry professionals.
When I was in High School I had an inspiring PE teacher called Mr Kinsey. His lessons were really engaging and the class always learnt something new and, very importantly with young people, he was always willing to provide extra support. I would say my teaching style is pretty similar and my students know my door is always open if they require further support or advice.
In recent years further qualifications I have gained are FA Youth Modules 1 and 2 as well as the UEFA B Licence. These qualifications have enabled me to extend my coaching to Rochdale FC Academy where I am the coach for the under-13 team. The role has definitely helped me to develop professionally and it is a privilege to work with elite players on a weekly basis. This role has also given me the opportunity to manage at some outstanding venues with my favorites including Goodison Park, Anfield and Manchester City’s newly built City Football Academy.
Being involved in sport all day every day is, for me, one of the best careers available. You get to do something you love and get paid for it which, in my eyes, is the perfect career. My days are spent developing elite players and developing the next generation of coaches and one of my long term aims is for one of these young people to go on to reach the professional level as a player or coach. For me to say I played a small part in that would be unbelievable.
My advice for any young person aiming for a career in sport would be to work hard and take every chance that comes your way. The sports industry is growing all the time but you still need to make yourself unique so be proactive and get out your comfort zone!