Brad’s story: From bricklayer to full-time coach at Exeter City Academy

Brad Miller, a full-time Foundation Lead Coach at Exeter City Academy, explains how his time and experience on the EFL Trust Futsal and Education Programme helped him land his dream job in coaching.

The 24 year old, who is currently working towards his UEFA A License, was one of the first students to progress through the Futsal and Education Programme when it began.

If it wasn’t for his drastic decision to change his career pathway at 16, he probably wouldn’t be where he is now.

He said: ‘’At the age of 16 I worked for a brick laying company and I soon realised it really wasn’t for me.

‘’I have always had an underlying passion for football and coaching. As soon as I heard about the Futsal and Education Programme and what it entailed, I had to get involved.’’

The EFL Trust Futsal and Education programme specialises in offering a platform to young people who love sport but aren’t motivated by the classroom environment, presenting a different way to learn and progress in their careers.

Brad continues: ‘’As a technical player, I have always been a big admirer of futsal. I felt the sport suited my playing background and it helped me to improve my game.

‘’The programme gave me a great platform and a good base knowledge of sport and education. The staff really help you progress with whatever it is you want to do.’’

On the programme, students are based in and around a professional football club. This environment really motivated Brad to pluck up the courage and move into a career in football coaching.

Brad added: ‘’Being in the professional environment really inspired me to better myself and gain my dream career in football coaching.

‘’The staff at the club provided me with so many opportunities to pick up coaching hours alongside completing my studies.

‘’I would always make myself available and worked very hard to move my way up the coaching ‘ladder’.’’

Brad obtained valuable coaching practise through Exeter City’s ‘three tier progression pathway’ – a system designed to cater to the development of talented young players.

The system starts from tier three (ages 6-15) at Advanced Development Centre level all the way to tier one at Academy level, and allows players to evolve at their own speed and progress to higher levels if, and when, they are ready.

After completing the Futsal and Education programme and gaining a variety of coaching experience in the progression pathway system, Brad achieved his UEFA B License and was offered a full-time role at the club’s academy.

Now into his second season in the role, Brad says his particular coaching style has stemmed from his time as a player on the Futsal and Education programme – he always looks for technical attributes in younger players.

‘’Young players are like a blank canvas and then you mould them into your philosophy as a club and as a coach.

‘’I think how I coach now comes from my time on the Futsal programme. I try to help players become more technical, quick and good on the ball.’’

‘’It’s so fulfilling when you see them flourish and progress. They have so much energy.’’

To find out more about the Futsal and Education Programme visit: http://www.efltrust.com/futsal/