Just over a month ago, five current Newcastle Jets players completed their final session in their bid to be awarded an FFA/AFC B-Licence.
The coaching ticket is the minimum requirement for coaching in the local NPL Northern NSW competition, but the possibilities for the five Jets who have undertaken their second AFC-recognised coaching course are limitless.
Nigel Boogaard, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Glen Moss, Daniel Georgievski, and Cassidy Davis have all put in countless hours on the training paddock as players in their footballing careers.
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Coaching has been a different challenge for the quintet though, but now all five have improved their resumes with the help of the PFA (Professional Footballers Australia) and are each picking up experience on the sidelines.
Glen Moss has been involving himself with the youth team these past 12 months, attending sessions and sitting alongside Lawrie McKinna and Labi Haliti for Youth team games in order to develop his skills as a mentor.
In the local Herald WPL competition, Cassidy Davis was player-coach of Warners Bay for the past two seasons – leading the side to a pair of Premiership wins and Grand Final defeats.
Coaching is something which Davis fell into while playing locally, but she believes it’s helped her both on and off the pitch.
“I didn’t intend on stepping into coaching at such an early age, but it’s been a really positive experience,” Davis said.
“It’s helped improve my understanding of the game from both a personnel and tactical perspective, and having people like [Craig] Deansy and Ernie [Merrick] to bounce ideas off is invaluable for me as a young coach.
“Getting my badges is an important step in my development as a footballer and as a coach, and I’m thankful that the PFA has been able to make that process as easy as possible for me.”
The PFA is ever-present for players in both the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, with a focus on education, wellbeing, and transition and change.
They offer funding and opportunities for personal development such as coaching badges and tertiary education, as well as advice and guidance for players when needed throughout their careers.
PFA Player Development Manager, Emily Figueroa, was thrilled with the manner in which Jets players were embracing these types of opportunities.
“It was great to have both Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League players involved in the course," Figueroa said.
"When players are developing themselves off the field, it can only make them better on it and the skills and knowledge the players have gained doing their B Licence will also set them up for future opportunities.
"That’s what the PFA Player Development Program is about - supporting the players' wellbeing and development, and this can only be good for the game and the people playing it.”