The most important part of my job is helping to ensure that the boys in our academy make at least their expected progress at school and where possible try to help add value to their attainment. For our Under-18s group, we deliver their education programme in-house so I line manage the different tutors and help support the boys on their academic pathway. I work closely with Lee Hagger, our Head of Player Care, to make sure we are supporting them holistically and with their progress in education. Our Education team is small but committed and I am lucky to have some outstanding tutors and teachers in the team who are committed to making the boys education programme as exciting and active as possible.
Working with Young Players is fantastic and there is a general misconception about footballers and their willingness to learn. Having been involved with elite players for close to 10 years, I can categorically say that is a myth and that they are usually outstanding learners. They are as committed to achieving the best possible outcomes in the classroom as they are out on the grass. If you look at the players that have come through our academy that have gone to the first team, they were all fantastic learners and they all achieved the best grades they possibly could. I truly believe there is connection between a players ability to learn and their ability to succeed in football.
I am a history teacher by trade and have worked in school’s across London and Surrey. I have been lucky that throughout my teaching career I have had a variety of roles including Head of Year, Head of Department, Special Needs Co-ordinator and Assistant Head Teacher. The most enjoyable time I spent in teaching was at Coombe Boys’ School, which is a great community school based in Kingston Upon Thames. One of my roles at Coombe was to manage the partnership they had with the Academy at Fulham before I eventually moved across the road to take on a full time role with the club.