My coaching journey – Amir, Academy Director of We Make Footballers Beckenham
Fri 28 December 2018
I have been coaching for 8 years now and so far, I have had some amazing memories and a great experience in the football world with players, coaches, parents and fans. Football has been my passion since childhood, I feel very lucky to be working in an industry that I’m passionate about and that has so much potential. I enjoy being a leader and helping to develop others to become the best coach or player they can be.
Beginning to coach
I first started coaching at 16 years old in 2011 at Lewisham Youth, I had no qualifications or experience, so I volunteered and became the U8’s assistant coach. As the months went by I started to learn how to deal with the children’s energy and improved my child management skills. Once I understood the basics of coaching, I started to develop my own coaching style. My philosophy as a coach has always been about team bonding, there is nothing more powerful than a team that plays as one and is having fun at the same time.
The players were having so much fun playing football and you could see them sprinting to every session when we called them in. After the first season I decided to pursue coaching as a career, I booked my FA level 1 in football coaching and in youth development.
I was ready to go into the next season energised and full of new knowledge. In the second season, we finished 2nd in our league and won the London Cup final which was a great memory.
Moving on to different teams
After 2 years at the club, I needed a new challenge so I became the Head Coach of the U10’s team at Little Foxes. I gained a lot of experience and my director guided me into developing children individually and made me understand how important it is that children have fun during their sessions because they are learning without even knowing it.
During this time, I also became the Manager of the U15’s at Croydon FC where I got the opportunity to implement my own playing style. I stayed with the same team until they reach U21’s and learnt in-depth knowledge about coaching and tactics. I have had some amazing moments as a football Manager such as winning one league trophy, 2 league cups and coaching fantastic players. I also completed my degree in coaching science and gained my FA level 2 and Youth Module.
The next level
Arsenal FC development centre offered me a 10-week contract with the U10’s team, I was so excited to work for Arsenal and to be surrounded with amazing coaches which took my coaching ability to the next level. I was extremely focused and prepared every session to show the Manager how determined I was to progress with Arsenal and at the end of my contract I was offered a role as the U8’s advanced centre coach (Pre-Academy). I was over the moon and played many different teams like Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Watford...
I spent the next 2 years at Arsenal, coaching in their Italian Development Centre and one of the biggest moments of my career then came along where I was offered the position of Head Coach of the Arsenal Academy in Morocco! I accepted and spent the next 6 months there, this was an unforgettable experience! Morocco is a beautiful country, I explored Casablanca, the beaches, the markets and the people were extremely welcoming.
We Make Footballers
After returning from Morocco, I found a day job and my time at Arsenal ended, I also decided to continue managing Croydon FC U21’s on the weekends.
After my experience in Morocco I felt like I was ready for something different, I always wanted to start a business of my own and I knew I had to pursue my passion. I came across We Make Footballers, a football academy for children of all abilities with the goal of helping them develop individually and was immediately impressed.
I had a phone call with CEO Sean Conlon and I was very impressed with their structure and loved their philosophy. After researching the opportunity, I decided to invest into my future and open my own franchise called We Make Footballers Beckenham in South-East London. I also spent time learning what We Make Footballers is about and their philosophy by coaching at their holidays camps, speaking with current owners, coaches and managers. With the massive help of the WMF Team especially Eve Mcbrinn, Tayo Oke and Regional Manager Esmond - I have now launched my franchise.
So far it has been an amazing journey and I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for We Make Footballers. One thing I am sure of is that children will create fun memories that they will never forget while they are learning at our training and it’s great to see parents watching their children develop and have fun.