Colebrook Royals FC are proving that a grounding in grassroots football volunteering is an ideal way to develop as an individual as they celebrate the progress of former club member Charlie George, who has established himself as a match analyser at Leyton Orient FC.
Royals have an excellent reputation for developing individuals on and off the pitch - newly-installed Aston Villa Manager Dean Smith was once involved with the club - and Chairman John Eagleton thinks Charlie’s story will inspire others to get into volunteering. “Charlie has developed into a model character and role model for anyone looking to enter the professional game,” he said.
George began as a player in 2008, then started coaching at the club’s Soccer School at the age of 14 and Royals helped to put him through the FA Level 1 in Coaching Football in 2014. Following his A-Levels, Charlie went on to university to complete his degree in Sports Business and Coaching - he is currently in his final year - but he continued coaching at Colebrook during his studies.
He’s now the Assistant First Team Performance Analyst at The O’s, which involves the filming of games and training sessions, analysing data and completing weekly reports for the manager, coaching/medical staff and players. He has, in a very short time, been moved up the scale with his roles and responsibilities to now travelling with the First Team to all away fixtures.
Eagleton, who oversees the development of the club’s coaches and players, explained: “We’ve all been very fortunate to have had some excellent mentors. They’ve come in and worked alongside us, providing much-needed experience. Charlie is a determined and talented character.”
“Martin Ling contacted me after we suggested Charlie for the vacant role, and the feedback I've received so far has been excellent. It’s important to promote positive case studies like Charlie’s to inspire other young people that the route into the professional football doesn't involve just playing. They can see clear pathways in many other areas of the game.”
“This could be through refereeing, coaching, teaching or, as in Charlie's case, in performance analysis. Colebrook Royals have a great track record in giving young people the platform to develop and progress into football from grassroots.”
If you’d like to find out more about becoming a grassroots football volunteer, browse the 'Volunteers' menu above. Information is also shared on Twitter by @EssexCountyFA and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.