AFC Fylde are preparing for life at a new level and manager Dave Challinor is stepping up too as he works for his UEFA A Licence coaching badge.
The Coasters boss completed the second part of the UEFA A programme at St George’s Park in Staffordshire – the £105m facility which is home to England’s 24 national teams.
Challinor, who has already been busy in the transfer market this summer, says the course was a welcome break from the demands of football management ... if only for one week!
Challinor said: “They have changed the way they do the A License badges and this was my second part of it. We did five days at St George’s and I will now be assessed back in my own environment with the players here.
“The week was more about networking than anything else really and meeting people. They were just facilitating conversations and views on coaching. Coaching is very individual because everyone coaches in a different way.
“Over the past 10 years, the way the badges are delivered has changed massively and they continue to do so. The way people are expected to coach is changing too.
“It was good to get back into a coaching mindset rather than a management one, which I’ve probably been in for the past six months because it’s been very intense on the managerial side.
“It was a small group of us at St George’s. Stockport assistant manager Mike Flynn was there, so there were some conversations in the lead-up to signing Lewis (Montrose).
“Ex-Grimsby and Notts County midfielder Paul Bolland was in our group as was former Blackburn striker Kevin Gallacher, who I did my youth module with.
“Burton keeper Stephen Bywater was involved too but a lot of the others were from academies around the country, so it was a very mixed group and it was good to get differing views.
“Now we just have to put the coaching hours in. When you feel you are ready to be assessed you put in a request. I have to log 10 sessions first, then they will come out and decide whether you are ready.
“The final assessment involves leading a 25-minute coaching session and then a 45-minute game. You can either do the coaching as an 11 v 11 game or go up against another coach being assessed.That will probably be over the course of next season.”