Shipley Park Rangers F.C. under 11s & 15s

Ben Saxton was nominated by his mum, Sherrie. Ben played football between the ages of seven and 15 before deciding he would like to use his skills to coach youngsters at his local club, Shipley Park Rangers FC. It is Ben’s dedication and commitment to the youngsters that is so inspirational. Despite the fact he works full time as an IT apprentice, he gives up around five hours each week to the clubs in addition to spending time planning the training sessions to be delivered.
We went to Heanor to present Ben his signed Nottingham Forest football and to ask him a few questions. 

Name: Ben Saxton

Age: 19

Club: Shipley Park Rangers F.C. under 11s & 15s

Q: How did you get into coaching?
Ben: I played football from the age of seven until 16, when I decided that I had had enough of playing. I was asked by my local club, Shipley Park Rangers FC, if I wanted to get into coaching. So it just started from there really. It was a new club starting out as an under 11s team in the Derby Junior Football League. I went thinking I could go down once or twice and if I didn’t enjoy it I could say I was not going to continue,  but I decided I really enjoyed it and I carried on from there really and got myself a couple of coaching badges. I just love it; I love the buzz of it.

Q: You're quite young for a coach, aren't you? 
Ben: Yes I am young to be a qualified coach, but was happy to be given the opportunity to coach the kids. As time passed I realised that I was quite good at it and enjoyed it at the same time and then decided that it was probably better to go on a course to give me different ideas for new training sessions.

To begin with it just started out as giving a helping hand to the manager, but as time passed I took more of a lead with the delivery of some training sessions. I decided that I could help the goalkeeper with some different techniques and skills, as I had previously played in net.  

I think I always knew I’d be involved in football and I wanted to give something back as I enjoyed playing so much. 

Q: Tell me about your qualifications 
Ben: I’ve got my FA level 1 and 2 in Coaching Football and the FA level 1 and 2 goalkeeper coaching. I’ve also got the youth modules one and two, which are based around dealing with younger kids and how you approach them differently to the older lads.

Q: What age group do you teach at the moment? 
Ben: I am currently coaching a team of under 11s in the Derby Junior Football League. Up until three weeks ago I was also coaching a team of under 15s in the Derby City League, but unfortunately the team folded due to not having enough players.

I have now been appointed manager of the under 18 team at Eastwood Athletic FC playing on a Saturday morning in the Derby City League.

Q: What has been your proudest moment in teaching?
Ben: My proudest moment in my coaching to date is seeing the vast improvement of the players on a weekly basis, seeing them go from losing many of their matches and, finishing close to the bottom of the league, to gaining promotion in the three consecutive seasons moving from the bottom division up to Division 1. You really do know that you have made a difference when this happens.

This summer the current under  11s have won a pre-season tournament. It’s great seeing their faces when they realise they’ve achieved something.

Q: Finally, who are you planning on taking to the Nottingham Building Society Executive Box as part of your prize? 
Ben: I don’t think I’d be allowed not to take my Mum and my Dad as they’re both big fans. Mum and Dad have always supported and encouraged me in achieving my goals. They were even my taxi to get me to all of the matches, until I learned to drive. They still come to some of the matches when it’s good weather. The third will be Ben Murdoch, the Manager for Shipley Park Rangers FC under 11s, who has really given me a helping hand on to the coaching ladder. He encouraged me to get involved in the training sessions and develop my coaching techniques.  He’s a huge Forest fan too.

Ben Saxton

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