Posted: Thu 25th Feb 2016

Wales coach helps launch USW partnership /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 25th, 2016

Osian Roberts (right) with some USW students at the partnership launch at Dragon Park ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

One of the architects of Wales’s successful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign is going to be passing on his skills to the next generation of football coaches. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Osian Roberts, assistant to Wales manager Chris Coleman and once described as the ‘most influential man in Welsh football’, will share his knowledge and expertise with University of South Wales (USW) Sport students as part of a deal that will see the institution become the exclusive Higher Education Partner of the Welsh Football Trust. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

As part of his role – which was announced at Dragon Park, the Wales National Football Development Centre in Newport, on February 25 – Roberts will become a USW Football Ambassador and also deliver guest lectures to students who are studying on a variety of football and related degree and foundation courses at USW. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In turn, USW will be the only university in Wales that will provide students with access to the FAW Trust’s internationally-recognised training, including coaching up to Uefa B Licence level, first aid and child protection. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The students will also get to meet other famous names from the world of football at the FAW Annual Conference in May – including World Cup winner and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Past attendees – who have all undertaken FAW Trust courses – have included Henry’s fellow France star and Chelsea hero Marcel Desailly, former Wales, Cardiff City and Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy, and former Swansea and now Everton manager Roberto Martinez. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It’s great to be getting involved in training future football professionals who will not only help to build on the FAW Trust’s work in expanding grassroots football, but also the professionalism within the game as a whole,” said Mr Roberts. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Wales was a founder member of Uefa, and is now an accredited nation which is renowned in the footballing world as providing the gold standard when it comes to training coaches to the highest level. That’s why names such as Henry, Desailly, Bellamy and Martinez use our facilities to gain their coaching credentials. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This partnership with USW will give students access to that training, and a head-start when they are looking to secure jobs after leaving university. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It will be an exciting challenge for me to pass on my experience to the next generation.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Gavin Chesterfield, Senior Lecturer in Football Coaching Development at USW Sport, added: “We’re delighted to formalise this partnership with the FAW Trust and give our students access to some of the leading names in the world of football. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This exclusive education partnership will allow us to work closely together in a number areas such as research, mentoring, training of staff, and staff exchanges – but the biggest focus of all is how we embed student employability skills into our curriculum. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our vision with USW Sport, as it is across the whole of USW, is to create students who are employable through professional courses and by providing opportunities within those courses to get first-hand experience of the sector they want to work in. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“So, the deal to work with the FAW Trust, Osian, the other big names, and to offer the first-class training that will put our students ahead of competitors when they are competing for jobs after graduation, is a massive coup for both USW and our students.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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