The FA Coach Mentor Programme

FA Coach Mentor Programme

Offering on-the-ground support

Developing our coaches further

Did you know the FA have a dedicated workforce in place to support you and the other coaches in your club?

The FA Coach Mentor programme is a major investment in the grassroots game and offers on-the-ground support to all grassroots clubs and coaches across the country. FA Coach Mentors can support coaches with planning sessions, delivering sessions, observation and feedback, match day support or creating a club philosophy. The support is designed to be bespoke to your needs and delivered on the ground with you in your clubs.

The FA sees the development of coaches as central to the development of the game, and working collaboratively accelerates learning and supports coaches’ development.

Mentoring support at a club could include:

  • Developing a whole club philosophy
  • Group coaching demonstrations
  • 1:1 coaching, match-day observation and support
  • Signposting to relevant courses and events
  • Needs analysis for individual coaches
  • Modelling of coaching sessions for individual coaches
  • Individual feedback
  • An individual learning programme

Across the South West region, for the 2017/18 season, there have been 43 active coach mentors working across 7 counties Cornwall FA, Devon FA, Dorset FA, Somerset FA, Wiltshire FA, Gloucestershire FA & Hampshire FA. 

If you would like to access the support available through the FA Coach Mentor programme please contact your local FA Coach Mentor.


Get In Touch

For more information on the FA Coach Mentor programme please contact:

Ciara Allan - South West Regional FA Coach Mentor

By Phone:  07812 670154

By Email:


When making initial contact please include your name, club name, number of teams and the County FA that you are affiliated with.

Alternatively register your interest below.

Register you interest


Graham Parkes is based in Poole and has been part of the mentoring programme for the previous 3 years. Graham is a UEFA B coach, and is about to commence in the Advanced Youth Award. Graham has undertaken a number of roles in grassroots and academy football from coaching, mentoring, welfare, respect, council membership and chairperson of a local grassroots club. Graham is currently coaching U14’s in both an academy and grassroots environment and has experience from U5’s through to adult and disability football. 

To contact Graham please email:

Graham Parkes V1


Leah has Coached at a variety of grassroots & elite clubs, schools and colleges (PE teacher in primary schools and also at special needs schools). She is an FA Affiliate Tutor for new Primary Active Literacy Programme. 

Leah has also:

  • Spent 2 years coaching at Yeovil Town Ladies with FA WSL development squad and then FA WSL 2 first team.
  • Coached at Girls ACC and Cerebral Palsy Regional Talent Centre.

She is currently coaching South West Cerebral Palsy United FC Senior (Mens) & Junior (8-16) Squads, Yeovil Town Player Development Centre and Advanced Goalkeeper Center (under 8's - under 12's).

She has a special interest in supporting female coaches and the female game along with coaches working with disability teams and successfully won McDonalds UK Football Mum of the Year in 2015. 

She is very passionate about helping coaches to give every player opportunities to access fun, engaging and progressive football, allowing them to become the best players that they can be. 

To contact Leah please email:

Leah Poole

Manuel was born and raised in London, where  he ended up with a degree in Psychology. Along with the UK, he has also coached and lived in New Zealand, Germany, Spain and Japan. Manu is a personal trainer and leads a running group. He loves running and the outdoors and speaks Spanish, German and English fluently. 

To contact Manuel please email:

Manuel V1

Michael Butcher is based near Verwood and joined the mentoring programme in 2018.  Michael is a Level 2 coach and has experience in the grassroots environment in both coaching and council/committee membership. Outside of football, Michael is also a Board Member of Bournemouth Churches Housing Association and Finance Director of a Care Home group; he is passionate about helping coaches and clubs develop to achieve their aims and ambitions, as well as providing great sporting memories for players.   

To contact Michael please email:

 Micheal Butcher V1


Did you know?

In 2016/17:

1.  The FA Coach Mentor Programme supported 9,383 coaches and 615 clubs.

2.  The FA Coach Mentor team invested 450 hours to support coaches in Dorset for season 17/18.

3.  This represents an investment of £11,250.

From July 2017 – Dec 2017:

1.  Dorset FA Mentors supported 103 coaches.

2.  Dorset FA mentors invested 188.5 hours to support coaches in Dorset.

3.  This represented an investment of £4,712.50 to support grassroots coaches in Dorset FA. 

In 2018/19 the team of FA Coach Mentor’s in Dorset:

1. Dorset FA Mentors supported 182 coaches.

2. Dorset FA Mentors delivered 425 hours of support to coaches

3. This represented an investment of £10,625 into the grassroots game


No. The FA Coach Mentor programme is a free FA initiative where a Coach Mentor can offer up to 100 hours of support per season.

Clubs that are keen to develop a positive coaching ethos, philosophy and develop their own in-house mentoring/coach support system.

Coaches can utilise this opportunity to start a legacy of positive coaching within their own clubs.

The FA Coach Mentor Programme is also committed to providing 5000 hours per season specifically to work with BAME, female and disabled coaches across the country.

If you are a BAME coach or working with BAME coaches/players and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Steve Smithies with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to –

If you are a female coach or working with female coaches/players and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Samantha Griffiths with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to –

If you are a coach with a disability and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Kevin England with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to

If you are interested in becoming an FA Coach Mentor please check our website for vacancies. If no vacancies are available contact the Regional Coach Mentor Officer in your region who can provide an update of the programme in and around your area.

Please note that there two application periods throughout the season - June and December.

Pre-requisites to become an FA Coach Mentor are:

  • Minimum FA Level 2 in Coaching Football
  • Member of The FA Licensed Coaches Club
  • Valid FA Criminal Record Check

The South West Regional FA Coach Mentor is Ciara Allan.

Ciara Allan –

The FA Coaching Bursary

An inclusive initiative designed to support more coaches from under-represented communities with a financial contribution to progress on their coaching pathways.

The FA Coaching Bursary

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