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Go travelling with West Bromwich Albion Academy’s Head of Player Development and Talent ID, Paul Gardiner
28 March 2019

Go travelling with West Bromwich Albion Academy’s Head of Player Development and Talent ID, Paul Gardiner

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As Head of Player Development and Talent ID for West Bromwich Albion Academy, it’s safe to say I love my job.

Taking the boys on tour multiple times a year, it’s very important for us to conduct a pre-tour visit to check out the facilities and make sure everything is ready for the arrival of the teams. Being a keen traveler, this is a very enjoyable part of my job. When I’m out making pre-tour checks, I try and make a special effort to visit other professional clubs in the local area that we’ll be heading to. It’s such a good opportunity to meet new people and make new relationships all over the world.

The upcoming tour has seen me exploring Sicily for a second time in my life through February 2019. For those who don’t know, Siciliy is the largest island in the Mediterranean.
 

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There’s no real structure as to how we decide where to go on tour next. In fact, tour location is very much a ‘no size fits all’ decision. We tend to pick locations we think will be good, challenging and interesting for the boys. The location totally depends on the type of tour we’re planning, the type of experience we had from a past location etc. All of these factors will contribute to the ultimate decision of whether we will come to return.

The first time I experienced Sicily was about 20 years ago when I worked in the Navy. From this visit, I knew Sicily had lots to offer for the teams. From the nature, to the culture, to the football, we know it’ll be a rewarding experience for everyone and I can’t wait to see what they learn from the visit.

 

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We take each age group on tour at least twice a year, so we have multiple teams on tour pretty much most of the time throughout the year. In this circumstance, it was a very positive visit and I was more than happy with all of the facilities.

I make the initial tour visits on my own. When I was asked to speak with Coacha about my travels, they asked me if I saw the traveling involved with my job as a positive thing. I think it’s safe to say that after 22 years in the navy, I love to travel. I’m pretty sure that throughout my life I’ve been to every single island in the West Indies. Some more than once. Travelling is very much a perk of this job.

Coacha also asked me if I had a dream destination for tour. Having a strong personal connection with the West Indies, I would love to get the boys out there. For the football, the culture and everything in between. But I think that’s one that’s more for me than the boys’ sake!

 

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Tour and Training


For those unfamiliar with what a football tour with West Bromwich Albion Academy may involve, we simply take our teams abroad to play against other professional teams. It’s an incredible experience for our athletes and coaches to play/coach different teams, learn what they do, how they train, experience different cultures and see the world.

Sometimes people ask whether there are any specific training regimes we use when we know we’re playing abroad, but the truth is, we just train as efficiently as normal, go out and play the matches as we normally would.

One thing I find incredibly interesting and always love about going on tour to different countries/continents, is seeing the things that the foreign clubs do differently to us.
 

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There are always differences in training schedule, philosophy and methodology. That’s why it’s such a fantastic experience; because there is always something that the players and coaches can take from it. Whether it’s training techniques that we’ve never thought of, or coaching techniques the foreign club have never heard of, someone is always learning something.

We often get foreign teams come to play West Bromwich Albion Academy too. In the past, I’ve played against lots of incredible athletes whilst in the academy. Tour is very much a highlight of the year and something that players on both teams highly look forward to and find extremely rewarding.

We're extremely excited to have the West Bromwich Albion Academy Development Centre on board with Coacha. If you'd like to test Coacha to see what all the fuss is out, be sure to sign up to a free trial today. There's no obligation and you don't need to enter your card details!

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Taylor James

Taylor James

Sep 25, 2018

Always do their best to help sports clubs save time, money and do more things that they enjoy.

Kelly Loughlin

Kelly Loughlin

Sep 25, 2018

An amazing service, has saved me hours and hours of admin. Easy way to take payments and safely store athlete details. Such a huge weight off my shoulders!

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Kim Readman

Kim Readman

Nov 7, 2018

Great software, still very much a work in progress, but fantastic so far and the customer service is absolutely first rate :)

Jess Mortimer

Jess Mortimer

Oct 1, 2018

We have just started using Coacha this season and honestly it is one of the best decisions I have made this year! I used to spend hours on admin, chasing people for payments, taking cash & cheques to the bank and then checking to make sure the payments had actually gone into our account. Now I no longer have to write out invoices or handle cash and Coacha wil... l do the chasing for payments for me - which is amazing! Whenever I have any questions I get straight on the phone and their amazing team have either got the problem solved in seconds, or they get back to me as soon as they can with a solution. I cannot recommended this software and the support team enough. Thank you from one happy and less stressed Cheerleading coach!  read more

Katie Dignan

Katie Dignan

Sep 25, 2018

Amazing software that has helped our club so much!

Nick Phillips-Holt

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Jul 27, 2018

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Jan 22, 2019

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Brooke Hockley

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Sep 26, 2018

Before heading into our second season as a club and doubling in size we were very apprehensive about the administration aspect. I am so grateful to have come across coacha as it has made my life seamless in terms of the membership process among other factors such as data protection. We have also set up a stripe account to collect our monthly fees and I am very ex... cited about this as it is going to completely eliminate the tiresome process of chasing people. The report section of coacha is also really handy to be able to track who has set up their subscription. Taylor & the coacha team’s response time to feedback is excellent and I have been very impressed with the service so far. Coacha is revolutionising the way we work and they are doing a fantastic job!  read more

Molly Jewitt

Molly Jewitt

Jan 8, 2019

The Coacha software has made managing our swim school so much easier! So simple and straight forward to use and saves hours of admin work.
No more chasing people for payments getting half cash half bank transfers or having to think who paid what, everything is sorted out with a click of a button! Highly recommend, great software!

Taylor James

Taylor James

Sep 25, 2018

Always do their best to help sports clubs save time, money and do more things that they enjoy.

Kelly Loughlin

Kelly Loughlin

Sep 25, 2018

An amazing service, has saved me hours and hours of admin. Easy way to take payments and safely store athlete details. Such a huge weight off my shoulders!

Marley Hughes

Marley Hughes

Sep 6, 2018

Couldn't run my swimming classes without it now. The team are just great, really helpful, will always help you out. The system is really reliable - I tried a lot of different pieces of software and none matched Coacha for price and features. Thanks guys. x

Kim Readman

Kim Readman

Nov 7, 2018

Great software, still very much a work in progress, but fantastic so far and the customer service is absolutely first rate :)

Jess Mortimer

Jess Mortimer

Oct 1, 2018

We have just started using Coacha this season and honestly it is one of the best decisions I have made this year! I used to spend hours on admin, chasing people for payments, taking cash & cheques to the bank and then checking to make sure the payments had actually gone into our account. Now I no longer have to write out invoices or handle cash and Coacha wil... l do the chasing for payments for me - which is amazing! Whenever I have any questions I get straight on the phone and their amazing team have either got the problem solved in seconds, or they get back to me as soon as they can with a solution. I cannot recommended this software and the support team enough. Thank you from one happy and less stressed Cheerleading coach!  read more

Katie Dignan

Katie Dignan

Sep 25, 2018

Amazing software that has helped our club so much!




‘Coacha revolutionised my program administration and saves me time and money.’

Sarah Watkins - Program Direction - GCA Cheer