Introducing Jon Coles our Disability Football Development Officer

With two football mad older brothers I never stood a chance but to become involved in the sport, my first organised football experience was as a bright eyed 5 year old ‘young Gary Lineker’ wannabe at my local school in South Leicestershire. Following a fairly successful junior career playing for local teams in and around Leicester and representing my county I turned my focus away from playing and towards coaching and development. I graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2006 with a BA (Hons) Degree in Leisure and Sports Studies and successfully completed my FA Level 1 & 2 Coaching Certificate, having since also gone on to completed my FA Youth Modules 1 & 2 and the FA Coaching Disabled Footballers Course.

After graduating from University I went to ply my trade as a youth coach in the United States culminating in winning the 2008 US Club Soccer National Championship. It was during my time in US that I first got involved in disability football through the Special Olympics. Since then I have been very fortunate to be able to continue to travel the world working in football, first volunteering in South Africa but later as a Sports Development Officer with UNICEF Kenya. In this role I was able to establish Blind Football in SEN school across the country and help support inclusion in National Competitions. During this time I was also part of the coaching team in the Kenyan First Division with FC Talanta who were successful in promotion to the Kenyan Premier Division. I join Berks & Bucks FA from an exhilarating 12 months working in Mumbai developing football across International Schools within the city. It has been a varied football journey for me but one that I wouldn’t change for anything.

Outside work I’m an avid Leicester City supporter, so this past season has been beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Away from Football I also enjoy golf and tennis but whenever possible I love to travel and see new places. I’m excited to join Berks and Bucks FA and look forward to help develop disability football in the area.