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Pre Academy Lead and Foundation Phase Assistant Coach

Sunderland Association Football Club Limited
Sunderland, England
Closing date
Jun 17, 2023

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Job Role
Job Type
Vacancy:Pre Academy Lead and Foundation Phase Assistant Coach

Pre-Academy Lead and Foundation Phase Assistant Coach

Contract Type: 23 - month fixed-term employment
Salary: £25,000 to £27,500 per annum
Hours per week: 40 (including evenings, weekends and bank holidays)
Premier League Coach Development Programme: The successful candidate will divide their time between their Sunderland AFC employment and their individual development plan which includes enrolment to the Premier League's Coach Development Programme.
Location: Sunderland, Tyne & Wear


Professional football must better reflect modern Britain. Sunderland AFC in partnership with the Premier League, are seeking to improve the diversity of football coaches in the professional game to make this area more representative of society and the playing population.

As part of our commitment to improving diversity, we are proud to be able to support the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme, Season 2023/2024, by providing a high-quality fixed-term employment opportunity that supports under-represented groups within the football industry.

The scheme is open to coaches who are currently under-represented within English Professional Football - these identified groups being individuals from Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage backgrounds, including Women from all backgrounds.

We believe that having greater diversity helps the whole Club to perform better both on and off the pitch. We are therefore actively encouraging coaches from under-represented groups to embrace the opportunity to aspire to coach in the professional game, so that football at all levels better represents the wider communities in which it is played, enjoyed and serves.

What is the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme?

The CIDS will provide a 23-month fixed-term employment opportunity and development programme for the successful candidate. The Club will act as the 'base' of employment and the individual will work across a variety of football functions within the Club in order to broaden their learning experience.

Sunderland AFC in partnership with the Premier League, aim to identify a high potential coach so that after the scheme, they remain highly employable within the professional game. Simultaneously, the

Premier League want to be able to recognise and support clubs involved in the scheme as Inclusion and Diversity role models.

The fixed-term employment opportunity will include coaching and observation across the Academy, including multi- disciplinary teams. Successful applicants will enter the Premier League's Coach Development Programme which is accredited by Leeds Beckett University. Upon successful completion of the programme, coaches will receive a Diploma in Professional Football Coaching. The development programme includes mentoring, workshops, peer learning, projects and FA/UEFA qualifications dependent on need.

Objectives of the Scheme

To increase the number of coaches who are from Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage backgrounds, including women from all backgrounds in full-time coaching positions in English Professional Football.

To provide coaches on the Scheme with a fixed-term employment contract and development opportunities within a Premier League or Category One Club.

To substantially improve long-term employment prospects for coaches who complete the scheme.

To provide each of the coaches with their own development programme to ensure that they are appropriately supported to become successful coaches and visible role models.

To assist in diversifying the workforce at Premier League and Category One Clubs, promoting a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion.


UEFA B Licence
Current FA Safeguarding Certificate Enhanced DBS Clearance Emergency First Aid Certificate

UEFA A Licence

Coaches who are currently under-represented within the English professional game - individuals from Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage backgrounds, including women from all backgrounds.

This is a positive action scheme aimed at addressing under-represented groups in football coaching. Applications will only be accepted from individuals from those backgrounds.


Experience of coaching youth football
No previous experience of full-time coaching role in a Premier League or EFL Club.

Experience of supporting holistic development of children & young people within and/or beyond sport
Experience of coaching a team or group of players on a regular basis.

Person Specification

Candidates with high potential to be world-class football coaches and visible role models. Candidates should be able to demonstrate:

  • High-level interpersonal skills, where they can communicate effectively and appropriately with a wide range of individuals and groups of people;
  • The resilience required to be able to succeed in high-performance football environments;
  • A high motivation to become a football coach in English Professional Football and to help other footballers and teams to successfully develop and perform
  • T rack record of commitment to person & professional development.
  • Excellent organisation skills with strong attention to detail.

The Scheme is interested in candidates who have an aspiration to work with players from U6 to U11 (pre academy and Foundation Phase).

The successful candidate will lead the U7 to U8 Pre Academy programme in collaboration with the Lead Foundation Phase Coach, and assist on the individual, group and team planning of the football pathway within the U9 to U12 age groups (Foundation Phase), prioritising individual development at all times.

  • Continually work towards the Club's corporate strategic goals.
  • Communicate, promote and protect the Club values to enhance an elite high-performance environment.
  • Attend all professional development events and actively engage in a personal development plan and integrated appraisal process.
  • Ensure compliance with all the policies and procedures contained within the Staff Handbook, paying regard to the Equal Opportunity, Dignity at Work and Health & Safety and security policies.

Core responsibilities

  • To plan, create and evaluate coaching sessions as scheduled in the weekly plan.
  • In collaboration with the Recruitment team ensure we are inviting players with the highest potential into our training groups, to be coached and monitored.
  • Create positive working relationships with players and parents.
  • To plan and deliver training sessions that prioritise an individual player development focus.
  • To independently source and review video clips of individuals and groups with reference to player's individual learning objectives in liaison with the analysis department.
  • Provide impactful feedback to players to support progression.
  • Oversee the trialists who enter the coaching cell providing suitable evaluation and feedback durin g the signing / exit process.
  • Collaborate with the full MDT to ensure every player receives the best individual programme giving appropriate challenge and support.
  • Ensure the Performance Management Application (PMA) is completed and up to date.
  • Liaise with parents of players to create a collaborative approach.
  • Ensure the retention of players is always prioritised within planning.

Leadership responsibilities

  • Lead the Pre Academy player programme and assist the Foundation Phase Cell Leads.
  • Deliver consistent up to date communication with the Phase Lead, Academy Manager and Head of Coaching surrounding the journey of the players.
  • Align coaches and the coaching programme to the club's coaching and playing philosophy.
  • Oversee the team planning and theming per mesocycle.
  • Connect and collaborate with Phase staff surrounding training support and team selections.
  • Connect with staff surrounding training support and team composition.
  • Observe and prioritise individual player development within training and fixtures.
  • Support Phase coaches with all aspects of the role, including coaching delivery to enhance best practice.
  • Monitor and evaluation of all players in the Phase for succession planning process.
  • Create a best-in-class environment.
  • Participate in all relevant meetings.

How To Apply

Sunderland AFC will only consider applications from Coaches who are from Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage backgrounds, including women from all backgrounds.

To apply, please complete the attached Application Form , demonstrating how you match the criteria in the job description and person specification.

Applicants should also include a short covering letter explaining why you would like to join this initiative and what you want to achieve. Application forms and cover letters should be sent to by the application deadline.

Please note that CV's will not be accepted for this role and applicants must be able to verify that they are eligible to work in the UK.

Sunderland AFC and Premier League believe in equal opportunities and all applications will be assessed on merit only. All personal data that the applicant shares on the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form will be submitted separately and will not form any part of the application process. This information is collected simply to see if our advert is reaching a wide and diverse range of applicants who are applying for this role. Therefore, as part of the application process, all applicants are invited to complete an Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form which can be completed here .

Deadline For Applications

Please submit your application by 5pm on 18 th June 2023.

Please email if you require any assistance in applying or you would like to submit an application in another format.

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