West
Bromwich Albion Academy



"The different GDPR features have given the organisation (and parents) faith in our ability to handle data in accordance with the new data protection regulations efficiently and effectively."

What initially started as 3 age groups has since developed into 8! Those talented and committed enough to be selected to join WBAadc, get the unique opportunity to train whilst focusing on improvement, hard work and desire.

WBAadc approached Coacha unsure where to turn. With an increased focus on safeguarding and GDPR for such a large organisation, paper folders and clunky registers just weren’t cutting it anymore. They asked us what Coacha could do to help them. We set them up and they never looked back. Here’s what former Head of Player Development and Talent ID for WBA (now working for Aston Villa), Paul Gardiner has to say.

Q - How did you organise your club admin before Coacha and what was thefa core problem you were looking to solve?
A. Before Coacha we hadn’t used another piece of software properly. We chose to stay away from the premiere league software as we wanted something totally different that met our exact needs and kept our academy players separate from premier league.

We were completely paper-based, lugging folders to and from training in all weather. We wanted to eliminate the messy side of things for our entire coaching team by having one system for everything. As well as this, GDPR was due to come into place and we really needed a system that gave us confidence in its ability to protect our members’ data. We also have a huge focus around safeguarding and needed a system that accommodated this, and a software provider that understands why.

Q. What made you look for a (different) piece of Football software to help and did you have any initial hesitations?
A. We had very briefly tried another online-based system previously, however called it a day as it was a high expense for how dissatisfied we were with the implementation of it.

The only hesitations we had whilst searching for software, were narrowing it down to just one that we actually liked. The search for sports club management software is like a minefield. There are so many different types of software that take sometimes to weeks to get your head around. We were initially apprehensive about the search.

Q. How did you discover Coacha?
A. We were compiling a list of software that we felt worth trialling after making lots of Google searches. Coacha kept cropping up so we decided to sign up for a free trial.

Q. What have been the greatest benefits of using Coacha and what is your favourite feature?
A. The initial thing that springs to mind is simplicity and saving time. WBAadc has come a long way since being paper-based. Allowing the coaches to have access to member information, classes and registers on their own device, with their own login details has been essential in improving their satisfaction levels and overall club sophistication. It’s also saved me a huge amount of time spent on administration.

With us being one of the larger organisations of the sports world, we needed to be totally prepared for GDPR. The different GDPR features have given the organisation (and parents) faith in our ability to handle data in accordance with the new data protection regulations efficiently and effectively.

Working with minors, safeguarding is also number one priority for us. The ability to add safeguarding notes and independent external moderators on all communications has been essential. Also knowing that Coacha won’t let you contact certain members directly depending on their age has been a huge weight off our shoulders.

The Member Portal has also been a gamechanger for us. Allowing players and their parents the ability to login and view, edit and download their data under GDPR has gone down extremely well. It puts us in comfortable territory with regards to GDPR.

Q. If you were to describe Coacha using 3 words, what would they be?
A. Innovative. Simple. Sophisticated.

Q. What has it been like to work with Coacha’s team and do you have an example of how they went the ‘extra mile’ for you?
A. Coacha have always been there when I needed them, from the club setup to just getting my head around the functionality. They’re always pleasant and helpful, one of the best customer service/support teams I’ve encountered.

Q. If someone called you and asked, ‘Why should I use Coacha?’, what would you tell them?
A. I’m actually always recommending Coacha to people I know who run sports clubs. I’m also a coach educator for the FA and teach other coaches. The only thing I need to say is that it changed the way we run our organisation for the better, and I wouldn’t look back.

Q. What do you think about Coacha’s efforts with GDPR and has their aim to raise awareness of it helped you at all?
A. As mentioned above, this was the one of the initial reasons we were searching for software. So Coacha’s GDPR efforts were imperative in our decision to join them. We couldn’t find another piece of software with features that were built around GDPR. Coacha immediately put our confidence in their ability to help safeguard our member’s data.

Q. Is there anything else you feel important to add?
A. I think it’s important to mention that Coacha have always been good with taking users’ comments and suggestions on board, which helps guide their future roadmap. They have always made my opinion feel valued. I think that’s a vital trait of a successful organisation.

I’d add that the first few weeks are the hardest part, where you’re getting your data into the system. But Coacha helped us with this and once everything was in, it was smooth-sailing.

I’m grateful to Coacha for providing a smooth service that is efficient and where I feel valued as a user.

Thanks guys.

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