University of South Wales graduate Jake Mullinder believes studying the Community Football Coaching and Development Foundation Degree was the best decision he ever made, as he looks forward to advancing his coaching experience in America.
After nervously awaiting his A-Level results in 2014, Jake had no idea what to do next.
It wasn’t until he found the USW Foundation degree at Shrewsbury Town in the Community that his career aspirations flourished.
He commented: “After just 12 months on the USW course I went from doing P.E at sixth-form to delivering a soccer school to young children with Shrewsbury Town in the Community.
“From there, I got the opportunity to work on a variety of programmes from disability, to futsal, being a team leader on NCS and working at the advanced development centre.’’
Whilst studying for his degree, Jake also worked as Lead Community Coach at Shrewsbury Town in the Community and at The New Saints Ladies Football Club as a Goalkeeper Coach.
He hopes that all of this experience, alongside his degree, will help him one day achieve his dream of becoming a coach at an elite level.
He continued: “Working on a number of different programmes has really helped me to develop my confidence and allowed me to form a well-rounded and extensive knowledge of community sports.
“I have developed a huge passion for coaching and my desire is to one day work at the top level in the profession.
“I’d recommend the course to anyone looking at getting into sport, it was the best decision I ever made. A lot of people going to University have to wait until the final year of their course to get work experience, but at USW I managed to have three whole years of it.’’
After graduating last year, Jake became Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s Health and Inclusion co-ordinator.
In this role, Jake has overseen a number of programmes and has been involved in inspiring, educating and engaging people from a number of different backgrounds and abilities.
“I’ve been working at Shrewsbury Town in the Community now for three years, it has been a brilliant pathway for me and it’s fantastic to have been involved with the set up and seeing how the community sector has grown over the years.
“For me personally, working in the disability sector is the most fulfilling area, seeing kids having the opportunity to play football when they normally wouldn’t is a very rewarding position to have.’’
Looking forward, Jake sets his sight on bolstering his CV even further by gaining international coaching knowledge in America.
He added: “I’ll be involved in coaching a team over in America and working with goalkeepers of different ages. It’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to trying it and seeing where it will take me.’’