Aedan’s decision to join the apprentice programme, in part, stems from his own experiences as a participant with CSF.
“I have a passion for sport as a whole, I enjoy coaching a lot. It fits my personality and I see it as an opportunity to progress myself for my career and also to give back to others the opportunities that I had as a kid.”
Aedan’s journey with CSF as a participant stretches right the way back to when he was young, and the Foundation was known as Football in the Community.
These includes Soccer Schools, as well as after-school football sessions at his schools, Ghost Hill Infants and Taverham Junior.
He remembers those early sessions fondly:
“The clubs at school really enhanced my love for football. As a lot of youngsters do, I wanted to play every day, and CSF’s sessions gave me the opportunity to do so. Each week, we would learn about a different attribute or skill and put them into practice.
“It was always fun, and I think looking back, that was really important; it made me fall in love with playing the game.”
His appetite for the game was matched by his ability, and he was soon signed by Norwich City FC’s Academy.
Following his years there, while at high school, Aedan was released. But it wasn’t long before he was back on the Foundation’s pathway, once again.
“The Foundation’s Elite Player Development Centre contacted me shortly after being released, and gave me the opportunity to continue playing my football with them.
“The programme made it easy to feel comfortable and to continue enjoying my football. The training sessions were engaging and enjoyable and I made lifelong memories through the tours and fixtures in different parts of the U.K.”
When Aedan turned sixteen, he enrolled on the Foundation’s Football & Education programme.
The programme provides the chance for players to combine an intensive 11-a-side football training and fixture programme – under the guidance of former Canaries Adam Drury, Simon Lappin and Ryan Jarvis – with studying for a Cambridge National Extended Diploma in Sport.
“It was a really exciting opportunity to continue on the pathway I had been on since I was a kid. It was also a chance for me to continue my football to a high standard and to gain qualifications that I could use for my career. By then I knew the career path I wanted to follow, so it was the perfect fit for me.”
The Apprentice offering, which was available to Aedan following the completion of the two-year course, was the next natural step for him as an aspiring coach.
“As I got older, I began to realise how much impact the coaches at my schools and at my football sessions had on me growing up – not just in terms of my ability on the pitch, but in terms of my characteristics off of it. I began to reflect that I could be the one making a difference to youngsters.”
Now, fresh off a full year of employment and with an Apprenticeship Level 3 in Supporting Physical Education and School Sport qualification achieved, Aedan is looking to continue his coaching with the Foundation as a full-time community coach.
“I received so many opportunities through my time at CSF as a participant, and I’m really happy to now be part of the team helping youngsters on their own particular journey.”
To find out more about the Foundation’s coach apprentice scheme, please click here. The programme is made possible thanks to Sports Structures and the Premier League.