July 29 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, April 17, 2014
World Cup fever is hotting up ... and one Saffron Walden coach got a taste of the big time when he rubbed shoulders with England No.1 Joe Hart.
Nick Lander, 20, currently in the second year of a sports science with coaching degree at Northumbria University, said meeting the Manchester City goalkeeper had given him extra incentive to leave his mark on the game.
“Joe was a nice guy and some of the things he said resonates from what I want to do in terms of coaching,” said Lander, who plied his trade as a coach at Saffron Walden Town FC back in 2010.
“Speaking to him it is interesting to hear about his career and his relationship with his coaches. You can always pick up little titbits and it is really beneficial and really good.
“Hearing that he enjoys it most when a coach gives his players some freedom is how I want to be so it was reassuring to hear really.”
The former Perse School student said coming face-to-face with Premier League, FA and League Cup-winning Hart at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium last week will live long in his memory as he continues to learn his trade.
He was speaking at the launch of the 2014 Gillette Great Start Programme, which supports coaches who inspire the next generation at every level by awarding coaching grants. Lander was awarded a grant in 2012.
He added: “I want to be able to progress as far as a can. I have a year left in my degree but when I finish I would like to go full-time into a football club and work as a coach so hopefully the support I have had form Gillette will help me get into that.”
While this summer’s World Cup will celebrate the very top level of football, Hart said grassroots coaches like Lander should not be ignored.
“The Gillette Great Start programme is a fantastic opportunity for people to make a start in coaching,” the England goalkeeper said.
“Coaching is getting more and more popular nowadays but it is not always easy to get into. It is expensive so opportunities like this are great for sport to move on. I wish Nick all the best for the future.”
• Gillette’s Great Start programme celebrates the role of coaching and encourages people to get into coaching by offering grants. To apply for a coaching grant, visit facebook.co.uk/GilletteUK.