A Derby County Community Trust coach is hoping a new university degree will set him on the path to a dream career in the industry.
Jake Straw, who works at Derby County Community Trust, is about to start his final year of a degree in Community Football Coaching and Development at the University of South Wales.
After recently graduating from the Foundation Degree, 22-year-old Jake hopes the further qualification will add to his CV and enhance his long-term career prospects.
The BSc Honours degree is a unique football coaching course which has been designed in conjunction with the EFL (English Football League) Trust. It provides an opportunity to gain an industry-recognised coaching award while being affiliated to a specific football club.
Students are predominantly based at their football club, but will also spend a minimum of five days per year at the University of South Wales Sport Park – a £3.7m state-of-the-art coaching and performance development centre.
Teaching takes the form of online lectures and seminars, with students expected to complete up to 300 hours of coaching on a work-based learning programme. The course also helps students gain their Level 2 Football Coaching certificate.
Jake said: “I didn’t go to university straight from school, so I’m really grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to study through the club.
“Being able to learn something and then try it out straight away in a practical environment is really useful, and stands the course apart from traditional styles of learning, where you sit in a classroom and then have to wait until you’re on work experience to put theory into practice.”