Stuart Henderson, has successfully completed the FA Level 4 Qualification which has meant for the past 2 years every 8 weeks, he has been attending St George’s Park, the headquarters of English Football.
Stuart commented, “It has been tough going, as the course was both demanding and challenging, and to fit this in alongside your everyday life, has meant various sacrifices have had to be made. The course which is considered to be of Degree Level in academic terms was both interesting and challenging. I would like to thank my family and friends for their support and encouragement, and bearing with me during this period and delighted to be one of only 16 people in the country to receive this qualification.”
The qualification is designed for staff working as Heads of Talent Identification within the professional game. The course was split into 4 major components, Leadership & Management, Negotiating Skill & Influencing People, Football & Governance and Talent Identification.
“The course was very demanding, and rubbing shoulders with some of the key players within the talent identification industry, was both an enjoyable and personally testing experience. It is very easy to rest on your laurels, and do what you have always done, on reflection from the course all 16 successful graduates, have learnt key skills and processes which can be used within the industry”. Henderson commented, “I particular enjoyed the ‘Negotiating Skills and Influencing People area of the course’ when my live half hour negotiation with a football agent was recorded live, and its unbelievable how detailed and how many techniques can be used to try and get the outcome you desire, although Henderson joked that the techniques used don’t appear to work on his teenage son!!’
I have learned a lot about myself, and certainly been put into various situations when external groups came into the FA to take workshops within the course, that were way beyond my comfort zone. Such situations, have certainly developed my skills, in particular in Leadership and Management, and I can look back over the past two years on achieving this award, that I have certainly developed considerably as an individual.”
“In terms of the IFA, I have made a network of both friends and contacts that are invaluable. Within my group there were representation from clubs such as Southampton, Bristol City, Bournemouth and Brighton. In terms of the course as a whole, clubs such as Chelsea, Stoke City, Liverpool, Fulham, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United were all represented along with Steve Walsh from Leicester City who was responsible for discovering obscure players Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kanté Leicester, who have gone on to become household names. Steve Walsh has recently been appointed Director of Football at Everton.”
Having such a vast network of contacts, will help the IFA as our players look to meet the standards of Category 1 and Category 2 where there is a progressive pathway for players of the appropriate ability.