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Our 'Coach the Coach' Initiative had an international flavour last weekend as two current national team head coaches arrived on Tyneside. Chris Coleman, Wales Manager and former Magpie favourite Michael O'Neill, Northern Ireland Manager were joined at Complete Football Gosforth by 120 local grassroots coaches, all of whom came along to observe these elite coaches in action. Chris and Michael were supported by local coaches Neil Winskill, Liam Bramley, Ben Dawson, Adam Furness, Barney Jones and Terry Mitchell who collectively delivered a full day of coaching practices and workshops aimed at up skilling the largely volunteer coaching workforce in our area.

Chris and Michael delivered a two-hour coaching demonstration, based on training preparation for games, using players from Newcastle United Academy and other local clubs. This was then followed by a question and answer session which delved into their coaching philosophies, favourite training methods and dealing with players.

After the event Chris said; "It has been a pleasure to come along and I was very appreciative of the invitation from Neil and Paul (Bracewell, Manager of Complete Football). I have had a great day and have been made to feel very welcome indeed. This is a tremendous initiative with great intentions based in an area that really loves its football. If we are all to develop better young players capable of playing at the highest levels we need outstanding coaches. These events provide coaches with the chance to come along, learn, share ideas and best practice - right on their doorstep too! The players are the ones who will get the benefit from the commitment of these coaches".

Neil Winskill, Football Development Manager at Newcastle United Foundation said on the day; "We are thrilled that Chris and Michael have given up their time today to come along and present at this event. It is testimony to their love of the game and the coaching of players and coaches. The 'Coach the Coach' programme is a partnership between our Foundation, Complete Football and Northumberland FA. It has been going for three years now, with workshops taking place on the last Friday of every month which are open to any coach from any level who simply wants to better themselves. Today's event has been a real highlight and the attendance shows that we have some very dedicated, keen and enthusiastic coaches in our area - this can only be good for Newcastle".

Paul Bracewell, Director of Football at Complete Football said "We are delighted to have 2 international Managers at Complete Football on Sunday in partnership with Newcastle United Foundation, Northumberland FA, NFP Soccer for our summer Coach the Coach convention.  We thank Chris and Michael for giving up their time for free to pass on their knowledge to all who attended. Coach the Coach is becoming not only locally but nationally the place to be for all levels of coaches."

For more information please on these monthly events please visit http://www.northumberlandfa.com/coach-the-coach