Thursday, 16 October 2014
From university to county level, and then on to one of the biggest regional football associations in the country – Worcester graduate Luke Bowles has been continuously climbing the football development ladder over the last year.
Luke completed his Sports Coaching Science studies earlier this year, and has since secured a full-time post as an Assistant National Game Strategy Officer with the Birmingham FA.
The role sees Luke work with the region’s clubs and organisations to deliver the FA’s National Game Strategy (NGS) – a four-year, nationwide grassroots football project – to improve the standard of football services within the area.
Although initially wanting to pursue a career in coaching, Luke says he was inspired to follow the football development route during year at the University of Worcester.
“During my third year at university, I was fortunate enough to be selected for the role of BUCS University Football Activator,” he explains. “This role allowed me to develop football opportunities within the University.
“Seeing the range of opportunities that football development created meant that a role in this field became increasingly appealing to me, as I saw how large an impact you can have on people’s chances to have a role in the game.
After the completion of his studies – and his UEFA ‘B’ coaching license badge – Luke won a four-month role at the Worcestershire FA, which he credits with helping him to develop both personally and professionally.
He says: “It was a great first job to have. The role allowed me to develop both as a person and as an individual within the football industry, and I will always be thankful for that.
“At Birmingham, my day-to-day role is similar to the post I held at Worcestershire, but the size of the county and the demographic is a lot different, so the application of the NGS also alters and is allocated across the development team.
“I am looking forward to having an impact on clubs and organisations within the county in order to increase the numbers of players playing and the standard of the coaching available to these players.”
Alongside his role with the Birmingham FA, Luke coaches at elite and semi-professional youth level, and has ambitions to become a full-time coach and achieve his UEFA ‘A’ license.
He says his time at the University of Worcester helped him gain the knowledge necessary to work in the football industry, and gave him the opportunity to apply this knowledge in a practical setting.
“My time at university has helped me massively,” he says. “The most crucial thing was being able to implement and practice my skills in a football environment throughout my three years of study.
“The tutors, staff and lecturers were always willing to help, whether it was through advice, helping to create opportunities or even coming out of their way to analyse my performance when coaching.
“Even since leaving I know that the support is still there if needed – I would recommend the University of Worcester to anyone looking to get into the football industry.”