Your Football Development Team

Essex County FA Football Development Officers (FDOs) are responsible for growing participation and improving the game in a geographical area rather than the traditional means of concentrating on just one aspect. This means we can take a locally-based approach to their work and offer a well rounded service.

Essex has more than 1,400 clubs - in excess of 4,500 teams - so the area is divided into four geographical groups. These are then made up of four or five local authorities, with clubs then linked to each group based on their authority.

Essex’s FDOs are responsible for all football development matters in their area, including: Charter Standard, Leadership & Volunteering, Futsal & Small-Sided, Facilities & Funding, Inclusion & Disability, Women & Girls. That also embraces the implementation of the Youth Development Review, which becomes compulsory from 2013/14.

The aim is for the FDOs to be central to the development of football in their area and to take an overall strategic view. This is in conjunction with a wider team based from the County Office in Chelmsford. Below is a set of dedicated pagesfor your local FDO/s, as well as some countwide contacts:

Group 1 - North-East (Tendring, Colchester, Braintree, Maldon)

Group 2 - North-West (Chelmsford, Uttlesford, Harlow, Epping Forest, Brentwood)

Group 3 - South-East (Rochford, Southend, Castle Point, Basildon, Thurrock)

Group 4 - South West (Havering, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Newham)

Nick Emery (County Development Manager), (01245) 393077, Nick’s first involvement in football was as a six-year-old when introduced by his father, and he’s since played, coached and watched “the best game in the world.” He supports Aston Villa and has coached for Essex’s Female Player Development Centre as well as local Under 12s and adult teams. Nick has played at varying levels of 11v11 football. He rates Group 4 as a region with high levels of participation with some fantastic new facilities, thanks partly to the Olympic legacy. He’s noticed a real buzz for sport in Essex’s London Boroughs and he looks forward to supporting clubs and leagues with the implementation of the Youth Development Review over the next few seasons.

Luke Hornsley (Children & Young People Football Development Officer), (01245) 393076, Luke discovered football at a young age - playing for Gallow United Under 10s - and he hasn’t stopped since! He believes it’s the diversity of peoples’ opinions and the social aspects of the game which make football so interesting, and he enjoys being part of a team and playing with a group of friends. Luke supports Arsenal and currently plays on Saturdays for Tillingham Hotspur, lining-up for Crondon Hall Stars on Sundays as well as fitting in some five-a-side on Monday nights.

Kevin Watts (Community Coach), (01245) 393099, Kevin first discovered football as a 13-year-old as it filled the void after he stopped playing rugby. He started to play football with a few friends for a laugh, joining the local team, and he claims to have caught the "football virus" after enjoying it and his parents encouraged him to play more often. Kevin loves the grassroots game for the passion of the people involved who play, coach, referee and volunteer football for the pure love of the game, turning out in all weather regardless. He admires those who develop and progress young talent season after season. An Arsenal supporter since the 1992/93 season, Kevin coaches at LOASS FC in the Echo Junior League outside of his Essex County FA responsibilities, which include coaching at the 'delivery end' of the spectrum through Vauxhall Football 'Mash-Up' taster sessions, school-club links, Soccability football and Mars 'Just Play' sessions.

Sam Robinson (Community Coach), (01245) 393099, Chelmsford-based West Ham United fan Sam used the traditional ‘jumpers for goalposts’ when he grew-up playing the game with his brother. He loves football because it’s a vehicle for social inclusion and a gateway to a healthier lifestyle. Sam says the stories created in grassroots football, from a player developing in every aspect to a successful cup run, highlight the power the sport has on creating a positive effect upon participants. He views his challenges as connecting, and enthusing with, a variety of backgrounds. He wants to break down barriers to participation players may have had from previous bad experiences. This will be achieved through Vauxhall Football Mash-Ups and general recreational football, which could generate new teams.

Cindi Chatha (Inclusion Football Development Officer), (01245) 393090, Cindi discovered football from a very young age when her brother and cousins got her hooked. She’d play football with them, and at school at lunchtimes. Later on she got involved with coaching and refereeing. Cindi enjoys the fact that football brings people together, regardless of their age, gender, religion or sexual orientation. She sees the shared passion coaches, officials, parents and volunteers have which helps develop young talent both on the pitch and socially. A Liverpool fan and a keen follower of her local team, Stafford Rangers, Cindi believes the toughest challenge in her role is removing perceived participation barriers which still exist in football. The most enjoyable aspect includes working with different groups to create a strategic framework, helping to shift the culture so that we can create inclusion and engagement which will help develop a wider, more diverse talent pool of players.

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