Football Coach, Abdullah Abdullah stands in front of a brick wall, holding a football under his arm, looking into the distance smiling proudly

Listening for success

The story of how listening to The Grassroots Football Coach podcast helped inspire one coach's journey in the game

Two years ago, Abdullah Abdullah was working as a cargo bike deliverer and was looking for good podcasts to listen to whilst on shift.

With a passion for football and an interest in coaching, Abdullah came across ‘The Grassroots Football Coach’ podcast, started listening and hasn’t looked back since. 

Back at the start of 2023, Abdullah attended Kick It Out’s, Raise Your Game Conference at the Emirates Stadium and was immediately drawn to the Berks & Bucks FA stand. Recognising the logo from the podcast, Abdullah didn’t hesitate to approach our team to say hello and talk about how the podcast had helped and inspired him to start his journey to becoming a football coach. 

Abdullah explained that he’d listened to most of the episodes, especially at the start of his journey and took inspiration and ideas from many of them. Aside from enjoying hearing coaches from all levels of the game share their journeys in football, Abdullah also benefited from being able to listen to their advice, experience, and expertise. 

Having dyslexia, Abdullah explained that he found it much easier to learn through listening than by reading, and how the podcast had become a form of CPD for him, where he was able to take ideas from the episodes and implement them in his coaching sessions.

Two episodes stood out for him, Pete Sturgess and Shelly Strange. He really enjoyed listening to their journeys in the game and hearing how grassroots football had helped them develop. He also learnt more about the importance of being patient with development, adapting sessions for different numbers of players & abilities, and found a greater understanding of how to work with parents and guardians to develop players.

One of the most beneficial Abdullah discovered was that he was hearing about scenarios on the podcast that he was seeing on the grass whilst out coaching and, not only was he able to make those connection, but it also helped him gain perspective, context and helped identify potential solutions.

Abdullah found listening to The Grassroots Football Coach Podcast easy. It was directed at grassroots level, highlighted the journeys and stories that different people from across the game had experienced in the football industry, and inspired him to chase his dreams.

Now, just two years into his journey, and having completed his FA Introduction to Coaching Football Course, Abdullah is working as a football coach for a football charity in London and in his spare time, coaches youth football (U15 & U14s) at two grassroots football clubs. This summer he is scheduled to start his UEFA C Coaching Qualification to further his own knowledge and development.

Asked if he would recommend the podcast and what he would say to coaches who were thinking of listening but hadn’t done so yet, Abdullah said: “I will fully recommend listening to it. You will learn so much.

“The presenters are very funny and friendly and help make the episodes easy to listen to, particularly for coaches beginning their journeys but I think it’s also really good for all coaches at any stage of their development. I love the topics that are covered and how relevant they still are today. Even now, I still revisit some episodes.”

With nearly 70 episodes featuring guests from across the game, including former Premier League coaches and players, to FA Tutors, grassroots coaches and Olympic gold medallists, the podcast has something for everyone. 

All episodes of ‘The Grassroots Football Coach’ podcast are available now on all major podcast platforms, from Apple to Spotify and more.
Listen now

To find out more about starting your coaching journey in football, get in touch with our team to discuss how you can get involved, the first steps and how we can help support your ongoing learning and development.

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