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Thursday 31 January 2013

Graduate secures prestigious FA award

Football studies graduate John Salomon has been awarded the FA Women's Premier League Coach of the Year award, which was presented to him by England manager Hope Powell. John is in his fifth season at Watford FC and enjoying the challenge of managing Watford Ladies, who compete in the FA Women's Premier League. He previously coached for Northampton Town's player development centres, Milton Keynes Dons in the Community and also spent six months in America coaching for Chicago Fire. When discussing how his degree at Solent prepared him to work in the professional game, John commented: "Although the high level coaching I received at Solent inspired me to pursue a career in football development and management, all the units I studied on the course, from marketing to sport psychology, gave me the confidence and skills to perform my current role." Football studies course leader Clwyd Jones said of the award: "John's passion and enthusiasm for the game was evident from the first day of the course and he was a joy to teach. Our goal on the football studies degree is to expand on the students' management and leadership skills, whilst exploring the latest research and emerging best practices. John is part of a growing number of Solent football studies students who are turning their ambitions into concrete results."

Welsh post for graduate

Football studies graduate Matthew Jones has secured the post of football development officer for Wrexham FC. In addition to his development role, Matthew is also the club's Under-13 head coach in the Centre of Excellence and is completing a master's degree. Matthew was head-hunted from Welsh Alliance League One side Llandudno Junction, where he became the youngest coach ever to take the club into the third round of the Welsh Cup. Matthew said of his time as a football studies student at Solent University: "The football studies degree I completed at Solent University not only provided me with an extremely well rounded and extensive knowledge of the game of football, but also opened the door to a career within the professional game. At the outset of the course, my aim was to secure employment within football and this degree has ensured I achieved this, as a football coach for Wrexham FC." Commenting on the appointment football studies course leader Clwyd Jones observed: "I have no doubt that Matt is going to the very top in football management. He has all the attributes that are essential in a modern football coach: a strong desire to gain knowledge and experience of the game, excellent rapport-building skills and an attention to detail that is second to none."

Associate lecturer takes on scouting role

Kevin Braybrook, UEFA Pro Licence coach educator and football studies associate lecturer, has recently been head-hunted from QPR FC to join Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Kevin has been appointed to the role of senior first team player and opposition scout. This is an exciting position for Kevin as Wolves have recently restructured their recruitment, analysis and academy departments. The role allows Kevin to observe and identify players as well as preparing an opposition dossier which can help provide the senior management with information in respect of upcoming opposition. The new position also allows Kevin weekly opportunities to view games throughout Europe and the UK, including the Premier League senior and under-21 leagues and next generation series. Football studies course leader Clwyd Jones said of Kevin's appointment: "This position supports Kevin in his role as an associate lecturer on the football degree course. It helps combine current elite performance and the teaching of the game in terms of coaching, trends, recruitment, and analysis, which all leads to performance at the highest level."

Centre member spreads sport and development message worldwide

LMCFR Centre member Dr Oscar Mwaanga has been traveling the world to discuss his pioneering work in the sport for development and peace area. In November, Oscar travelled to the Caribbean where he discussed his innovative Kicking AIDS Out initiative, developed more than ten years ago and which is now implemented in 23 countries around the world. In December, Oscar travelled to the prestigious University of Pretoria, South Africa, where he gave a keynote address on issues relating to sport for development and peace. A world-leading exponent of football as a tool for development, Oscar's work is recognised around the world - the two events provided an opportunity for his education and development programmes to be discussed with new audiences.