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Increasing Coach Employability Through European Mobility
Start date: 01 Jun 2016, End date: 31 Jan 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Partick Thistle Football Club (PTFC) is a professional football club from Glasgow. Despite their name, the club are based in the Maryhill area of the city, and have not played in Partick since 1908. The club are members of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and play in the Scottish Premiership, having won the 2012–13 First Division. This application seeks funding for a total of 18 participants drawn from four categories of VET coaching staff working at the PTFC ThistleWeir Academy:1. Coaches working with the development squad players (18-20 age group).2. PTFC coaches working with the 11-17 year old squads.3. Community and grassroots coaches employed by PTFC who assist local grassroots clubs, local councils and schools within the region to deliver vocationally relevant training to young players.4. Coaches involved in Women’s football.ALL of the above coaches are VET Professionals involved in the delivery of the Modern Apprenticeship programme, SVQ Level 1 and/or Level 1 qualifications or Scottish FA-approved community coaching courses.Unemployment rates for professional football coaches in remain above the national average with 26% of coaches being unemployed at any given moment (UEFA, 2010). However, there is clear evidence that mobility provides VET staff with additional European skills which reduces the risk of subsequent unemployment and improves job security and career progression. Partick Thistle Football Club has at it's forefront an ethos of progression and a desire to succeed at the highest level in Scotland and to compete in Europe. We understand and realise that these aspirations can only be achieved with players. Our aim is to develop these players and bring them through our academy structure and blend them with players from around the world. Our host partner in Spain is a world leader in the development of young male and female players through their early identification in the grassroots leagues and progression through the club academy structures into full-time professional status. The strong emphasis on community involvement has been shown to enhance player retention rates and development profiles for both male and female players. For example, Levante commits a high level of resources to identifying and developing players from the local region. Once identified, Levante FC then provides one of the highest quality development programmes for Academy players in Europe, which includes technical, tactical, physical and sociological development. Levante also has one of the highest female participation rates of any area in Spain and we are keen for PTFC coaches to study the processes which underpin this success. Mobility will provide participants with a greater understanding of Spanish coaching and the lessons learned will enhance coaching skills in Glasgow, improve player development pathways and increase female participation rates in the game.
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