Pete Sturgess Coaching Event

Essex Coaches Learn from FA Technical Lead

Pete Sturgess Presents on the Foundation Phase (5-12s)

100 enthusiastic football coaches showed their passion for supporting young players and developing their own skills in Basildon recently when The FA’s Pete Sturgess delivered a showcase ‘Foundation Phase (5-12s)’ presentation.

Sturgess, FA Technical Lead for the Foundation Phase, was at Woodlands School on Wednesday 7th February to provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD), mostly to individuals currently coaching 5-12-year-olds. The evening was an opportunity to share the latest ‘England DNA’ content, both in the classroom and in practical ways.

England DNA is the starting point for the creation of a world-class culture of elite player development which leads to winning England teams. It’s a statement about the identity and character of England in both the men’s and women’s game and outlines fundamental and distinctive characteristics both on and off the pitch, values and standards of behaviour.

Embedded in the England DNA is the FA ‘Four-Corner’ Player Development Model which features the following elements: Technical/Tactical, Psychological, Physical, Social. Sturgess’ presentation outlined what the key messages and priorities are in all four corners for Foundation Phase players. He explained: “The England DNA is a blueprint for the development of all the players in our Development and Senior Teams.”

“This needs to be presented in an age-appropriate format for our youngest players in order for it to become a perfect fit for their age and stage of development. Coaches should always try to have open and inquisitive minds, both for the further development of their players and themselves. CPD provides an opportunity for this to happen and I see it as an integral part of wanting to be a coach. Continual development is what challenges us to improve.”

“I’m a great supporter of this type of event. The feedback was extremely positive and supportive, despite explaining to the coaches how working to support the key DNA messages would not be easy as they’d require greater knowledge, understanding and application. I get the feeling there’s a lot of support for the direction we’re asking coaches to go in and the help, support and guidance provided via the DNA resource is being very positively received.”

Andrew Crowl, Essex County FA Coaching Development Officer, added: “Pete had already visited a number of County FAs on his ‘Foundation Phase Tour’ and he was, as always, very accommodating. FC Redwing kindly supported the event with their Under 9s squad. Manager Mark Gordon was extremely helpful in arranging the group to attend and the children were a credit to the club with their effort and enthusiasm.”

Coaching guidance can be found at Once signed-up, search for ‘Foundation Phase DNA’ to access this specific resource. For information on grassroots Essex coaching, browse the 'Coaches' section above, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

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