Level 1 Coach - Davinder Dhillon

Coach Freeflow Football Academy

Why did he become a coach?

It’s quite simple really, I love football more than anything, I eat, sleep and breath football. I first got into the game when I was 5, and the first players I knew by name were Maradona and Ian Rush. At the time Liverpool FC were the best team in England and had just dominated Europe, said Dav.

From that point onwards Dav has been a football anorak, collecting World Cup sticker books, watching old footage of great teams and players, trying to copy their styles of play in the garden, at school, and memorising all sorts of stats.

Davinder Dhillon

However, his parents took a traditional view on education and careers, whereby academic achievement and university pathways to white-collar jobs were perceived as more desirable than pursing education and a career in sport. Unfortunately Dav was never allowed to play competitive football, but pursing his ambition to become a coach never diminished.

During Euro 2004, at a football event he met a local football project manger that invited him to a training session and subsequently mentored Dav to becoming a voluntary coach.

At the first session he was introduced to coaching a small-sided 3v3 game in driving rain, Dav said, “it was the best feeling in the world. From that point onwards everything clicked for me personally and I decided to give this a shot and now I want to pursue this as a professional career.”

Obviously catching the coaching bug he now hopes to obtain his level 2 certificate and in time a full UEFA coaching licence. He would like to purse an MA in sports science to develop one day in to a fully qualified football coach.

Dav’s view on grassroots football

English players in general lacked technique, self expression and lack of a football brain and ability due to poor coaching and the importance of winning at all costs. Sometimes I feel the English view of football is clouded by past glories shown more than ever at the 2006 World Cup. Poor school sports provision and badly developed community grassroots sport have led to the current situation of poorly coached youngsters with limited pathways.

He wants to the get fun back into football as opposed to this current big business mentality towards football. He has become dismayed by the attitude of parents and coaches towards football where swearing, shouting, condoning unfair play has become the norm. Unfair pressure on young players inhibits all the things he loves about football, freedom of expression, promoting technique and skills above the single object of winning the game.

Lack of respect for the rules of the game and more importantly opposing teams has caused him much concern regarding the future direction of the game he loves, he feels the mentality towards football and the way it is taught, who is teaching, who is in power needs to change.

His view on Asians in football

Old barriers of discrimination and racisms are unfortunately still relevant, but more importantly young Asians are still encouraged towards education and financial achievements as opposed to following careers in the arts and sport. We need to develop better pathways and provisions for all young people so they can explore their innate abilities in a holistic and dynamic environment as opposed to the current myopic world view, which has lead to increasingly seeing Asian young people stuck in front of the TV or the playstation. We are in danger of creating the next generation of sedentary and unhealthy young people.
He wants parents to take a greater interest and agrees with the Asian Football Network that we must build and develop grassroots football within a structured, dynamic and holistic environment underpinned by pathways and partnerships, if we are ever going to see the next generation of Asian players.

Davinder Dhillon

Currently Dav feels there is only minimal provision, which is badly organised, we need to develop professional and sustainable grassroots structures and pathways if we are going to succeed.

Dav feels that the current generation of young Asian people lack confidence and self-esteem therefore they need encouragement through good coaching and mentoring by positive role models if we are to see the next generation of players and coaches.

Dav’s story show how football has had a positive effect on his life and by following the coaching pathway he will be positive coaching role model for the next generation of players and coaches.

It was only when I started coaching that I truly felt self esteem, personal direction and the confidence to follow my ambitions in sport and life.

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