The FA Coach Mentor Programme

FA Coach Mentor Programme

Offering on-the-ground support



This programme represents a major investment in the grassroots game and offers on-the-ground support to FA Charter Standard Clubs, leagues and target groups.

The FA sees the development of coaches as central to the development of the game, and working collaboratively accelerates learning and supports coaches’ development.

Mentoring support at a club could include:

  • Developing a whole club philosophy
  • Group coaching demonstrations
  • 1:1 observation and support
  • Signposting to relevant courses and events
  • Needs analysis for individual coaches
  • Modelling of coaching sessions for individual coaches
  • Individual feedback
  • An individual learning programme

Mentoring in Gloucestershire

Here in the county we have 10 FA Coach Mentors supporting coaches within the grassroots game.

In 2018/19 the team delivered :

  • The FA Coach Mentor Programme has delivered 773.5 hours across Gloucestershire during 2018/19 season
  • This represents an investment of £19,337.50 into grassroots football in Gloucestershire
  • The FA Coach Mentor programme has supported 463 coaches Gloucestershire during 2018/19 season

outlook for the season 

For season 2019/20 we will be focusing our coach mentoring support in the following areas :

  • Qualification support – If you are due to attend a course or have recently attended a course and would like some help implementing the learning with your players.
  • Club Improvement Programme – If you are not part of the Club Improvement Programme but believe an FA Coach Mentor could support your club.
  • Coaching in the Female game – If you are a female coach or a coach who works with female players and would like support with your coaching.
  • Coaching in the Disability game - If you are a disabled coach or a coach who works with disabled players and would like support with your coaching.

The FA Coach Mentoring

Watch the video below to find out more about The FA's Coach Mentoring Programme

Coaching Header Image

Meet The coach mentor team!

Darren Mullings - FA Coach mentor

Darren Mullings -

"I have been fortunate enough to have had a playing career in professional football and still currently playing semi-professional.

I am also a qualified teacher and passionate about understanding individuals and supporting their development."

Chris Hicks - Coach Mentor

Chris Hicks -

"I started coaching to help out my son's local team. The experience created a desire to further my coaching knowledge and begin acquiring my coaching badges.

I have had the opportunities to coach WBA Gloucestershire academy and Cheltenham Town Ladies in the Women's National League. 

I have worked alongside some inspiring coaches who have supported me as mentors in gaining my FA Level 3 (UEFA B) and Youth Award.

My journey has now led me to coach Gloucestershire U16 Boys' Representative team and work as a Coach Mentor for the hundreds of individuals starting their coaching journeys."

Jack Bowler - Coach Mentor

Jack Thurlow -

"I've worked as an FA Coach Mentor since August 2018, though I've been working for The FA since August 2014 previously as an FA Skills Coach. My role as an FA Skills Coach was to support the football development of children aged 5-11 years old. 

Since the age of 14, I've held various football roles ranging from grassroots to elite level children within boys (mixed), girls and disability football & futsal, whilst also gaining coaching experiences across the world, including USA and Kuwait.

I'm a highly enthusiastic FA Coach Mentor that is keen to support anyone that would like additional support, share my knowledge and experiences to support the development of football for all ages."


Leonie Wade coach mentor

Leonie Wade -

"Having played at a high level in both England and the US, I was inspired to coach by my university coach who changed the game for me.

I spent 3 years coaching in Boston, USA working with kids from grassroots all the way up to state finalists and college teams. Back in England, having gained my UEFA B, I have coached at West Ham and Swindon Town and currently coach within the GFA in the ACC programme.

As a coach mentor I hope to inspire and challenge coaches just like I have been by amazing people around me."

Pat Lewis - Coach Mentor

Pat Lewis -

My experience of working in Grassroots Football expands a lengthy time scale. My speciality is Goalkeeping and Futsal Coaching."

Scott Burry - Coach Mentor

Scott Burry -

FA Coach mentor Gary McLean

Gary McLean -

"I am an enthusiastic Coach, Tutor and Coach Mentor and joined the Coach Mentoring programme in 2016/17. I am passionate about supporting other coaches in overcoming their challenges they face on their coaching journey by sharing my knowledge and experiences to develop the game from grassroots through to open age and elite level football.

As a coach mentor, I am fortunate to further develop coaches I see on FA courses, supporting them back out in their own environments with their players. I hope to develop, motivate and inspire coaches by challenging them to be the best coach they can be in supporting their players to reach their potential in the game."


Kurt Doyle -

Aaron Tyler - Gloucestershire FA coach mentor

Aaron Tyler -

My coaching career has changed immensely over the past 14 years. I’ve developed a passion for learning more about how an individual coaches, not just what they coach.

Through playing and coaching, I have seen first-hand the difference a coach can make when they understand player and team needs then adapt their coaching style to match.

Putting on a session with organised drills is one thing; actually coaching, engaging and developing players appropriately is a whole different ball game (no pun intended!). My role as mentor is to help coaches learn how to adapt to the needs of their players.



The FA Coaching Bursary

An inclusive initiative designed to support more coaches from under-represented communities with a financial contribution to progress on their coaching pathways

Click here

The FA Coaching Bursary

No. The FA Coach Mentor programme is a free FA initiative where a Coach Mentor can offer up to 100 hours of support per season.

Clubs that are keen to develop a positive coaching ethos, philosophy and develop their own in-house mentoring/coach support system.

Coaches can utilise this opportunity to start a legacy of positive coaching within their own clubs.

The FA Coach Mentor Programme is also committed to providing 5000 hours per season specifically to work with BAME, female and disabled coaches across the country.

If you are a BAME coach or working with BAME coaches/players and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Steve Smithies with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to –

If you are a female coach or working with female coaches/players and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Samantha Griffiths with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to –

If you are a coach with a disability and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Kevin England with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to

If you are interested in becoming an FA Coach Mentor please check our website for vacancies. If no vacancies are available contact the Regional Coach Mentor Officer in your region who can provide an update of the programme in and around your area.

Please note that there two application periods throughout the season - June and December.

Pre-requisites to become an FA Coach Mentor are:

  • Minimum FA Level 2 in Coaching Football
  • Member of The FA Licensed Coaches Club
  • Valid FA Criminal Record Check

North West – Steve Smithies –

North East – Graeme Carrick –

East Midlands – Samantha Griffiths –

West Midlands – Andy Somers –

East – Darren Moss –

South East – Kevin England –

London/ Armed Forces/ Jersey/ Guernsey – Kevin Green –

South West – Ciara Allan –

Get In Touch

Tor receive support from The FA Coach Mentor programme, please contact:

Ciara Allen

FA Regional Coach Mentor Officer (South West)


When making initial contact please include your name, club name, number of teams and County FA affiliated to.

Related Articles

View All