When Conor McAteer was a boy, like many, he dreamed of a job in professional football.
And as he graduates from the University of Worcester today, that dream has become a reality – albeit in a slightly different format than that childhood dream.
After completing his degree in Sports Coaching Science, Conor landed a job with Leicester Football Association as the Assistant Coach of the City’s blind football team.
“I knew nothing about blind football before coming to university,” he admits. “I had always been passionate about football itself and while at university I was introduced to disability sport.
“One of my lecturers, David Mycock, was the former GB and England blind football coach and he put on a demonstration during one of the lectures. I thought it was fantastic and afterwards I approached him and asked if there was any way I could get involved in the game. I started going with him to coach weekly at a local school for blind children and I just fell in love with the game.”
During his time at the University, 21-year-old Conor took any volunteering opportunities that came his way, making trips to the Czech Republic and across the UK to help with blind football events.
It was that additional work and drive that eventually secured him the position with Leicester FA.
“I was so pleased to get the job,” said Conor, from Longbridge, Birmingham. “I would love to work with the national squad in the future, but at the moment I am really concentrating on building the squad I have.”
Alongside his job, Conor is continuing his studies with a Masters in Business Leadership and Management at the University of Worcester.