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Investing in Young Leaders

Seeing young people develop and reach their full potential is at the heart of Onside Soccer. 

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One specific area where we have focused our efforts is around leadership.  We feel that helping develop leadership skills is beneficial in a number of ways, particularly in areas such as:

- increased confidence

- better communication skills

- the ability to weigh information and make decisions

- taking responsibility

- working with others

- respect

To help us develop this aspect of our work we have developed a partnership with the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation, with our young leaders taking part in their 'Local Hero' programme.

How the Programme works

The Onside Junior Leadership programme is open to young people aged 12 - 16 years old and is a year long commitment for those taking part.  Working with our senior coaches, each young person will be involved in the day-to-day operations of our project in Carshalton.  This will include helping with session planning, session delivery, setting up and packing away equipment and events planning and delivery.  All participants will have the opportunity to complete online leadership training modules in partnership with the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation and, from age 14 upwards, start working through the F.A. coaching pathway, commencing with participation in the new F.A. Playmaker course. 

Throughout the year targets will be set, such as number of hours volunteered at Onside projects, with rewards put in place to recognise achievement.  The objective of the programme is not necessarily to become an expert football coach within a year but to gain an understanding of how a football academy functions, understand how training sessions are planned and delivered, to gain experience delivering sessions from the front, to develop project management skills and also to gain experience working in a diverse team.

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Leadership Material from the Best of the Best

The leadership material we use on our Junior Coaches Programme has been developed by one of the very top experts on leadership in the U.K. - Major General Paul Nanson, CB CBE. 

Paul is the author of the best selling book 'Stand Up Straight: 10 Life Lessons from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst' and until 2021 was the Commandant of Sandhurst, responsible for the training of every officer in the British Army.  Prior to his time at Sandhurst Paul served as an officer in Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Bosnia and during the Gulf War.

Through our relationship with the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation we have worked with Paul to develop resources specifically for young people. 

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