iCanCoach: Ishfaq Hussain
Tell us about how and why you got involved in coaching?
I got involved in coaching because of my first child. He started on his journey into football as an 8 year old playing for his local grassroots team and I started coaching the team. From there, I went on my level 1 about 13 years ago through West Riding County FA and have now completed my A licence and Advanced Youth Award. I have worked for a number of professional clubs in their academies and I am now working part-time for the FA as a Coach Mentor helping and supporting grassroots coaches as well as coaching a couple of grassroots teams.
What’s your current involvement with football?
I run an U17's boys team & an adult women's team, which is predominantly made up of Asian women from the Bradford area. Both teams are diverse and I'm a Bradford lad as well so it’s good being able to give back to the community. I also try help out at various other clubs and teams where possible and would say football in one way or another fills up my evenings and weekends. I’m also an FA Coach Mentor.
What do you enjoy about coaching football?
In the foundation phase, I just love seeing smiles on kids’ faces as they enjoy playing football. In the academies I enjoyed and got a buzz out of developing players and seeing them make progress and in some cases go onto becoming professional players. I still coach because my passion for football and working with kids has not diminished, but now it's about me putting back into the game by developing players, clubs and coaches and trying to leave a legacy.
What are your greatest achievements in coaching and why?
Achieving my A Licence & Advanced Youth Award. I had to put a lot of time and effort into those qualifications but hopefully it shows I am dedicated to gain knowledge and also my desire to improve myself as a coach.
What is your best memory of coaching?
Taking my sons team to their first football gala and winning the tournament.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced in football?
One of the biggest obstacles is that I haven't been able to get a full-time role within the FA or in professional football. Football is a competitive environment and I’d love to be working in the game full-time, so it’s just about me constantly trying to develop myself and hopefully get an opportunity one day.
Who’s had the biggest influence in your coaching career and why?
The biggest influence on my career as a coach has been Martin Diggle who is an FA Tutor who has supported me loads on my journey. Ces Ceasar, was also a huge influence as well. He’s a former FA Coach Mentor and close friend, but passed away a few years ago. We’d spend hours talking about coaching and football in general and those conversations helped me so much.
What advice would you give to people wishing to get involved in coaching football?
Do it! But above all you must enjoy working with children.