Supported by the Chelsea Foundation, the Mentee Development programme provides the opportunity for five female and five male coaches to gain invaluable experience and exposure to The FA Technical Department, as well as developmental experience with professional clubs at the world class St. George’s Park facilities.

The 2021/22 programme kicked off with an introduction day on Thursday 4th November at St. George’s Park, where FA education Director Lucy Pearson and FA Technical Director John McDermott welcomed the mentees before FA Coach Inclusion and Diversity Manager, Butch Fazal, gave an introduction to the programme.

Further introductory sessions on the day including tactics and analysis with The FA’s Professional Game Team Performance Analyst, Simon Houston, also took place.
As part of The FA coach inclusion and diversity programme, which is targeted at addressing the pervasive inequalities for under-represented black, Asian and mixed heritage male and female coaches, the Mentee Development Programme is a bespoke learning experience for under-represented groups with aspirations to work in the professional game.

Running throughout the season, the development opportunity is designed to meet the needs of each individual coach, offering the ideal progression for those who currently work within grassroots or semi-professional environments.
Selected mentees will get opportunities such as observing the England national team development camps, study visits to professional clubs’ academies, season-long one-to-one mentoring, presentation and communication training, tactical and analysis workshops, and interview and CV masterclasses.

Each element of the programme will aim to improve the mentees’ employability and understanding of how to develop a career in English football, accelerating their careers into the professional game.
FA Coach Inclusion and Diversity Manager, Butch Fazal, said: “I am delighted to welcome this aspirational group of coaches to the Mentee Development Programme. Across the season they will be exposed to a number of support and development opportunities throughout the game, and I am confident they will grab every learning opportunity and gain invaluable experience to accelerate their aim of securing a role in the professional game. I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of Chelsea Foundation in supporting the project.”
Director of FA Education,

Lucy Pearson, said:
“It is a pleasure to welcome colleagues to the Mentee Development Programme here at St. George’s Park. The programme presents each one of the 10 coaches with a fantastic opportunity to develop their insight and understanding of coaching excellence, to observe professional and national coaches in action and to access parts of the game for the first time over a 12-month period. England Football Learning is wholly committed to supporting coaches from underrepresented groups to fulfil their potential and thereby create a coaching workforce that truly represents the whole of our football community. The group shows the depth of talent that exists, and we are delighted to be working with such talented and passionate people.”
Head of Chelsea Foundation, Simon Taylor, said:

“It’s great that the Chelsea Foundation and The FA are continuing to work together to offer support for coaches from underrepresented communities. It is important that football reflects the communities it serves and the Mentee Development Programme is creating a range of new opportunities throughout the game. Congratulations to the current cohort and we look forward to watching their progression as the programme develops.”
The Mentee Development Programme is one of several courses hosted in the state-of-the-art facilities at St. George’s Park.
Find out more about the programme and other courses offered at the national centre for all here.

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