Interviews

Interviews with experts from around the world of coaching and player development.

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, we connect with the highly experienced, Kelly Cross & Drew Sherman to discuss youth development in Australia. Kelly Cross is the Technical Director – Youth at Sydney FC, whilst Drew is the General Manager of Football at Melbourne Victory. Since the turn of the century these two clubs have been the most successful in the A League and now lead the way around youth development pathways. In this discussion, PDP Editor, Dave Wright hosts Kelly and Drew for an in…

In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Editor, Dave Wright is joined by Academy Manager of Birmingham City FC, Kristjaan Speakman for an in depth and wide ranging conversation. Kristjaan has been at the club for well over a decade and has also coached at Derby County under the guidance of Terry Westley. Now one of England’s most highly regarded Academy Managers, Kristjaan sits down with Dave to discuss leadership, coaching and coach development, shares insights into the journey of Demarai Gray & recent first team debutant,…

Coaching across age groups requires subtle skills and in depth understanding. In this Masterclass Webinar replay, PDP Co-hosts Dave Wright and Dan Wright host Assistant Academy Manager at Birmingham City FC, Stuart Engish for an in depth discussion on age appropriate coaching. Stuart shares some brilliant insights into the academy at Birmingham City FC and his former club, Brentford FC where he held a similar role. The conversation focusses on the differences of coaching delivery and player development across all of the age phases from…

Professor Stephen Rollnick is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years experience. In this Masterclass Discussion, Stephen joins PDP Co-founder, Dave Wright for an in depth discussion on coach communication, the skill of motivational interviewing and much more. Stephen is a truly world-class thinker and practitioner who is applying his extensive knowledge to sport. This conversation covers a range of topics around connection, communication, tradition and relationships which will help coaches improve their ability to build effective relationships in their coaching. Image Source: Kelly Lacy from Pexels

Dane Coles is arguably one of the world’s best and most dynamic rugby players. In the combative position of hooker, Coles regularly goes head to head with front rowers around the world in both Super Rugby and International Rugby and is a Rugby World Cup Winner. In this article, PDP Editor, Dave Wright spoke to Dane about his player development journey, not specialising too young, the types of coaches he responds to and the value of mental preparation in performance. Dane Coles grew up in a…

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, we are joined by PhD Researcher, Megan Hill from the University of Bath for an in depth discussion on growth and maturation in youth football. Talent development and understanding performance versus potential is a complex topic. The progression from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood is characterised by an individual experiencing growth, maturation, and development. This process is unique to each child, it can be slow and steady or be full of huge growth spurts and challenging injuries. These influences can…

Eusebio Sacristan had a playing career at Barcelona alongside a golden generation and under the guidance of Johan Cruyff. He now manages Real Sociedad in La Liga, a big challenge but one he is embracing and enjoying. With the help of translator, Brooke Duder, Player Development Project caught up with Eusebio to discuss his journey as a young player and now top flight manager.

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, we host Director of Coach Education at the Royal Belgian FA, Kris Van Der Haegen for an energetic and in depth conversation on the Belgian model of player and coach development. In this discussion, PDP Co-founder, Dave Wright & PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright co-host Kris for a wide ranging conversation on how the Belgian model was dramatically changed following the Euro 2000 tournament. Kris was a key driver of this change, addressing game formats, shifting coaches to a player-centric…

In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Coaching Advisor James Coutts is joined by Bristol City FC U18 Lead Coach, Trevor Challis. In this discussion Trevor shares some invaluable stories from his playing days and in particular the late great Ray Wilkins that has helped shape how Trevor coaches now. This is great discussion around guiding players through their developmental journey and ensuring that honesty is at the forefront of what coaches do. Trevor and James discuss the importance of role models and leadership as a key…

The physical elements of youth development are complicated by growth, maturation and a number of variables. In this PDP Webinar replay, Dan Wright hosts Nottingham Forest FC Coaches, Tom Mallinson and Lewis Bramley for an in depth discussion on integrating conditioning and managing load with youth players. Tom is a Professional Development Phase coach working primarily with the U18 players. Lewis is the Lead U9-16 Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Academy. Dan hosts a discussion that dives into a number of issues that challenge…

Warren Grieve is an AFC Pro License holder and Technical Director at Football NSW in Australia. In this interview, PDP Editor, Dave Wright sits down with Warren to talk coach education, learning environments and more. This conversation covers a range of topics including: Insights into Warren’s experience doing the Pro License Advice for coaches undertaking courses Tackling the question, “What is Coaching?” Common misconceptions on coaching courses Session design Creating learning environments Plus much more This is an insightful discussion for developing coaches, particularly those…

The Feyenoord Academy, or Varkenoord as it is known in Holland as one of the premier developmental environments in the country. With famed graduates such as Robin Van Persie, Royston Drenthe, Jordie Clasie & Leroy Fer (to name a few) the club has won the Rinus Michels Award for best academy in the country multiple times.   Player Development Project was interested to know more about just what goes on at Feyenoord so we caught up with foundation phase coach and brain behaviour and learning…

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, the PDP team host FA National Goalkeeping coach, Yilmaz Aksoy for a fascinating discussion on how to develop goalkeepers. Most kids dream of scoring the perfect goal. I’ve always dreamed of stopping it. – Iker Casillas Goalkeepers are different. Whilst most kids fall in love with scoring the perfect goal, Goalkeepers thrive in denying these moments and keeping the ball out of the net. PDP Co-hosts Dave Wright & Dan Wright sit down for a discussion designed to help coaches…

The ‘Cupfinalseminaret’ in Norway provided PDP Editor, Dave Wright with an opportunity to gather the opinions of some leading Scandinavian figures. In this fascinating round table discussion on the women’s game, we talk leadership, psychology and coach/player development with Even Pellerud, Katrine Pedersen and Solveig Gulbrandsen.   In November Player Development Project was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the Norwegian Cup Final Seminar in Oslo. It was a destination for coaches from all around Scandinavia to listen to some of the best in…

This Masterclass Webinar replay is a fantastic opportunity for you to explore the research behind scanning and awareness in football with Dave Eldridge, UEFA A licensed coach & lecturer at Chichester University in England. “I spend the entire 90 minutes looking for space on the pitch. I’m always between the opposition’s two holding midfielders and thinking, ‘The defence is here, so I get the ball and I go there to where the space is.” – Xavi The best players seem to always have time on the…

Steven Reid could be described as something of a journeyman in English football. However, with a career that now spans 17 years at the top level, 23 full international caps for the Republic of Ireland including the 2002 World Cup, Steven’s achievements are significant. With well over 200 appearances at English Premier League level, Steven is an example of a different generation of professional footballer. He came through the English system at a time when things were perhaps simpler, less professional and more about playing football…

Wesley Sneijder has gone from playing street football in the Netherlands to becoming a Champion’s League-winning superstar. We caught up with Wesley to discuss his development, how he has transitioned between football cultures on his journey, and what he believes best enables creativity to flourish. Wesley Sneijder has played for some of the biggest clubs and in some of the biggest games of the last 10 years including FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League finals. A graduate of the famed Ajax Academy in Holland, Sneijder broke…

In our latest Player Development Project webinar replay, we focus on coaching younger players. PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright is joined by two top academy coaches, Nathan Thomas and Nathan Philip. Nathan Thomas is currently the Lead Foundation Phase Coach at MK Dons and has experience coaching at Middlesborough, Arsenal and Brentford – he also holds the FA Advanced Youth Award. Nathan Philip holds both the UEFA A Licence and Advanced Youth Award, has worked across these age groups in both coaching and recruitment roles…