This week’s Foundation Focuses centres around the Volunteer and Casual Coach pathway currently on offer for members of the community who are looking to start their journey into the field of Sports Coaching. The Albion Foundation currently offers an Apprenticeship programme which has now seen it’s fourth inductees alongside an extensive volunteer programme that has seen
Apprenticeship Pathway: Dan Hill (2013-Present)
Dan started at The Albion Foundation when he was 12 years old as a participant at our football camps and centres.
When he turned 14 years old he became a volunteer in the Football Development team (now Sports Development team) working on our Baggies Soccer Centres (BSCs), helping out 5 hours a week. After volunteering over 50 hours, he then started to work on our Match Day Packages (MDPs) where he would supported the delivery of Stadium tours and football coaching sessions.
Dan continued to volunteer for 2 years where he gained a lot of respect from his peers and was delegated more responsibility at sessions. When Dan turned 16, he applied for a role as an Apprentice, which would give him the knowledge and confidence to be able to deliver a range of different sports other than football.
During the first year of his Apprenticeship, Dan supported a lot of PE lessons and lunchtime clubs and had plenty of time to learn from the full time coaches. During the second year of his Apprenticeship, Dan managed to gain his FA Level 2 qualification which allowed him to start delivering his own sessions and lessons. He gained more confidence and experience during this time and this has helped him to teach a range of different sports.
When Dan’s Apprenticeship came to end at the end of last year he was offered a part time contract with The Albion Foundation in the Sports Development team where he will continue to develop his delivery skills. We have other opportunities within WBA in the Academy, Girls RTC and the Football Club itself. Dan has just managed to gain a role working with the WBA U21’s team as their kit man. This remains a part time role but couple together with his part time role at the Foundation, he is now in full time employment!
Volunteer Pathway: Dan Bryson (2007-Present)
I started at The Albion Foundation as a school student on a week’s work experience and from this started to help out voluntarily on soccer camps in half terms. Throughout my time at Sixth Form at Sandwell Academy, I attained my FA Level 2 in partnership with West Bromwich Albion and from there was asked to join The Albion Foundation as a casual member of staff at 17 years of age. I was asked to attend Camps throughout School Holidays and Baggies Soccer Centres to assist the Lead Coaches.
Whilst attending University, I maintained my casual employment and remained flexible to lead on a number of sessions, mainly Player Development Centre’s (PDCs), After School Clubs (ASCs), Albion Ambassadors and Soccer Camps.
I applied for a full time role within The Albion Foundation in April 2013, at the end of my University degree which I was successful in obtaining the Community Coach role. I continued to work within the PDC Programme which was kept core in my timetable. In January 2014, I applied and successfully obtained the role of Player Development Co-ordinator and became a Tier 2 member of staff. This resulted in more responsibility, financial awareness and targets, as well as in charge of developing the PDC Programme.
In January 2016 I was offered the role of Sports Development Officer – Player Development Centre and Gifted and Talented Lead,which resulted in my job falling into the Tier 1 bracket. This role requires me to meet regularly with the rest of Tier 1 to discuss how to grow The Albion Foundation strategically, manage staff and act as a line manager to 3 members of staff, continue to grow and progress the PDC Programme and hit all financial targets given to me by Sports Development Manager and Director.
I have always thoroughly enjoyed the PDC sessions and it is something which I am very passionate about as I had, and still have, a burning desire to work at the highest level I can. Whilst working as a casual member of staff at University I started to volunteer at the West Bromwich Albion FC Academy – in the Elite Development Centre, Pre Academy and Foundation Phase (5-11 years), which only encouraged my passion for Player Development Centres.
Since then I have been employed as a part time member of staff with the WBA FC Academy working for 4 years in the Foundation Phase as U9 & U11 Coach. In July 2016 I was offered a position in the Youth Development Phase (12-16 years) part time as U12 age group coach and continue to challenge myself working with some of the best young footballers in the Midlands.