Sean’s journey in partnership with Derby County Community Trust and USW has seen him take on a head coaching role in the female regional talent centre.

Having completed the Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching and Development, Sean is currently studying towards BSc (Hons) Community Football Coaching and Administration and has a passion to pursue a career in coaching.

Robyn Pinder, course leader for the course, recently caught up with Sean to discuss his experience at USW.

Sean: “The top-up degree has really challenged my way of thinking and developed my understanding around what football looks like in the present day. Alongside the importance of coaching opportunities, such as working on both the RTC and Football and Education programmes, the course has supported my development and allowed me to progress significantly since starting the academic year in September. Having the opportunity to work with UEFA Pro and A licence coaches on a daily basis, whilst working towards my B licence myself, has given me experiences I wouldn’t have been able to have anywhere else. In terms of next steps, I am hoping to increase the amount of work I do within the trust across a variety of departments, whilst continuing to develop my coaching and achieving qualifications that will allow me to continue progressing within the industry.”

Robyn also caught up with the Derby County Community Trusts higher education lead mentor – Jacob Straw. Jacob spoke very highly of the course and the blended learning approach the course employs.

"The top-up degree is a fantastic balance for our learners between real life experiences and knowledge. The learners get to spend two days a week with us watching lectures, completing assignments or delivering practical sessions, all of which are led in house by our qualified mentors. During the rest of the week, our learners are offered various opportunities within the community trust across all departments, which could lead to paid work."

Jacob also praised Sean’s work ethic and professionalism. “Sean has really maximised this and has become a key member of staff across two programmes. This has given Sean hands-on experiences with the challenges and problems that coaching often creates. He has been a stand-out student that both our year 1 and 2 learners really look up too and look to learn from. I’m sure Sean will have many future successes, both within the community trust and away”.