Degree Course with MK Dons SET has seen Owen progress into his dream career

Owen Lander - Foundation Degree Community Football Coaching and Development

Owen has secured himself a paid role with MK Dons Sports and Education Trust after huge progress on the Foundation Degree Community Football Coaching and Development, despite self-admittedly not being the most academic individual.

Prior to enrolling on the course, Owen’s life was football-focused having attended Denbigh Football Academy, but he picked up a serious knee injury that would eventually require a knee replacement. Although a hard thought to process, Owen channelled his frustration into considering other career paths in the sport which is where he found his desire to work as a coach.

Owen was always very aware of the focus that was required in both work and study but felt his immaturity often got the better of him and led him to regularly lose his way or give up on tasks. However, he made the decision to go and find voluntary work at MK Dons SET for eight months prior to him starting his foundation degree; a decision that has paid dividends to his personal and professional development.

Owen highlights his work as something he’s “always dreamt about” and shows real admiration and thanks to those involved at the programme. He explained: “I feel like that I’ve changed a lot especially with doing my work at home and not leaving deadlines to the last day. In early September (when still a volunteer coach) I got asked if I could cover an inclusion football session. I decided that as I had nothing on a Thursday during the day, I would volunteer. It went really well, and I got asked if I wanted to carry on with it and if I wanted to pick up extra hours with inclusion at the weekend. I agreed to this and then it started to be every Thursday and Sunday. At the end of the month, Kelly (Inclusion football officer) asked if I needed a timesheet to be signed. I told her I’m not a causal coach and only a volunteer. After that, she offered me a role in casual coaching which I am still grateful for today I also got more hours within inclusion, and I am now doing schools as well. This has been a big achievement for me but only the start of something new.”

From a boy who struggled, to a man who is continuously pushing his own development; Owen is an example of how the course allows individuals to succeed both on and off the pitch.