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The Technical Directors Course Class of 2023

Earlier this month, we celebrated the graduations of this year’s UEFA Pro Licence and Technical Directors Course cohorts.

The ceremonies, held at the National Football Museum and Wembley Stadium, marked the culmination of both programmes, and showcased the exceptional accomplishments of the graduates. FA Technical Director John McDermott, Director of FA Education Lucy Pearson and FA Professional Game Coach Development Lead Phil Church attended the events to present certificates and insights into their experience for the graduating cohorts.

The bespoke two-year Technical Directors Course is specifically designed for individuals currently working as Technical Directors in professional football, or those identified as possessing the potential to excel in the role.

The comprehensive curriculum delves into the responsibilities of a Technical Director, emphasising the creation of a high-performance culture and the development of aligned vision and strategy for sustained success.

The 18-month long UEFA Pro Licence course stands as the pinnacle of professional coaching qualifications, meticulously designed to cultivate exceptionally skilled and ambitious leaders, managers, and coaches who possess the prowess to foster enduring success in the game. Anchored in the solid foundation of technical expertise, the course’s core focus lies in forging winning team leadership and management strategies.

Throughout the programme, the graduates engaged in a series of comprehensive theoretical and practical workshops, leveraging state-of-the-art facilities available at St. George's Park. Participants also had the opportunity to learn from eminent experts who shared their insights from high-performing industries and leading sporting environments.

Upon successful completion of the courses, the Technical Director graduates have elevated their abilities in several key areas, including self-awareness and its impact on leadership, philosophy, understanding of high-performing teams, and acquired knowledge and awareness of world-leading insights into various aspects of football, including performance recruitment and academy operations.

The UEFA Pro Licence graduation marked the culmination of an enlightening journey for 24 graduates, hailing from clubs including Liverpool, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers. It provided a fitting platform for the participants to reflect upon their transformative learning experiences.

Guy Whittingham, UEFA Pro Licence Lead Tutor said: “The graduation evening offers the coaches on this year’s cohort a valuable opportunity to reflect on the significant progress made over 18 months and to celebrate their outstanding achievements. Everyone starts the UEFA Pro Licence course ready to learn and develop, and it’s right that the learning is challenging and rewarding. 

“These are current and future leaders who are equipped with the skills to continue to develop the game across the Premier League, Football League, Women’s Super League and beyond. On behalf of The FA, I’d like to offer my congratulations to the graduates of 2023; we are excited to see where their careers go from here and wish them all the success in the future.”
2022/23 UEFA Pro Licence graduate and Queens Park Rangers U23 Coach, Paul Furlong added: “The course has been very good, very challenging, but rewarding all the same. It really lends itself and explores techniques related to leadership. Having the opportunity to hear from so many different speakers and network with other elite coaches has given me new ideas and perspectives that I can apply to my role.”

Phil Church
, England Football Learning’s Senior Professional Game Coach Development Lead reflected: “The past two years have been challenging and enlightening with modules delivered by those working at the highest level of the game, and I’m sure the graduates will take everything they’ve learned with them as they progress through their careers.

The ‘open-door’ and shared knowledge approach ensures we continue to move the elite game forwards, both domestically and internationally through the cohort and work they deliver. Importantly, upon completion of the Technical Directors Course the graduates enter our Alumni, through which participants can continue their professional development via peer-to-peer contact and with the input of FA tutors across Alumni and CPD events.”