Rotherham United’s Foundation Phase players and Lead Coach Jake Henry were recently involved in a landmark England DNA Foundation Phase Roadshow event, which saw a record number of coaches from the local area turn out at Hillsborough College.
The session, run by FA National Lead Foundation Phase (5-11) Peter Sturgess, saw the Millers heavily involved in a Continuous Professional Development for coaches in the local area, who were invited to come along and spectate a session put on by Peter and assisted by Rotherham United Academy coach Jake Henry.
The evening was run in conjunction with Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA and saw a whole host of grassroots clubs and coaches invited to attend, with Ben Hardaker and our own Head of Academy Coaching John Williams instrumental in organising the session.
The Academy’s Under 8s and 9s were put through their paces as part of the coaching demonstration, with all the members of staff in the club’s Foundation Phase coaching staff present.
Lead Foundation Phase Coach Jake expressed his delight at the club’s involvement in such a well-attended event and is hopeful that everyone attending will have benefited from the experience.
“The session was aimed at showcasing the England DNA and taking those key messages into coaching our young players,” he told Forever Rotherham.
“It was great to see so many people turn out and as an Academy we are finding that we are really benefitting from having such a close relationship with both the national and local county FA.
“We are always looking at ways in which we can offer the young players different footballing experiences and to have someone of Peter’s experience putting on a session benefits both the players and us as coaches.”
The evening proved equally useful to Peter Sturgess, who heaped praise on the Millers’ youth setup for their part in proceedings.
“I was very impressed with the attitude, behaviour and ability of the young players from the academy. They came with a real enthusiasm towards practice and a willingness to be creative and expressive in their play,” he explained.
“This bodes well for the future and I will be keeping my eye on their progress. The Academy looks to be developing a truly vibrant Foundation Phase programme and the players looked like they were having a great time which is so important.”