On Tuesday and Wednesday last week, Pro Coaching Academy Head Coach Chris Collins, attended a two-day course at Rockliffe Park Training Complex, the training ground of Middlesbrough Football Club.

The course was an advanced course on Developing Defenders: In and Out Of Possession, and drew coaches from all over the North of England.

A group of coaches had also come down from Scotland, to compare courses run by the English and Scottish FA’s.

The course focused on developing simple, yet effective sessions that enabled the coaches to develop defenders of all ages.  They looked at the key principles of defending:


Delay, Deny, Dictate

Emergency Defending

They explored in detail, how each area could do to be brought to life on the training ground. This is part of the England DNA, which was launched in December 2014, and is the playing and coaching philosophy of all the England teams.  It consists of 5 core elements:

Who We Are

How We Play

The Future England Player

How We Coach

How We Support

Coach Chris said in conversation, ‘It was amazing to spend two days with some of the best coaches in the North of England, support by the excellent FA Tutors of Jimmy Gilligan, Craig Hinton and Joe Sargison.  I came away with a book full of notes and session ideas, and can’t wait to try them out with the teams I work with.  The overriding memory is to keep the sessions simple and make it look like the game i.e. does it look like football match.’

On Saturday Chris continues his UEFA B Futsal Level 3 journey with a return trip to St Georges Park.  Busy times ahead for the boss!

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