First team player Danny Ellis inspires young people

The aim is to provide high quality football coaching within a fun setting and to offer young volunteers the opportunity to practice their coaching and leadership skills.  This is through after school clubs and holiday courses.  These sessions are led by first team player, Danny Ellis.

The children love playing football and adore Danny. It provides them with an opportunity to meet one of their heroes.

Many talented players, whilst skillful on the pitch, are often not confident in public speaking.  For Danny, leading the sessions has helped to develop his communication skills with both the young people and parents.

Since the sessions began Danny has completed his UEFA B License and is also working with the GFC Youth Academy. In addition he is acquiring the administration and planning skills that are needed to run a safe activity.

This year Danny is part of the Lion Hearts, a heart health education programme that is being delivered in part through the holiday camps and in local primary schools.


A typical session includes:

• Fitness
• Skill drills
• Small sided games

Each session is inclusive, with all children involved, no matter what their ability. The spirit of teamwork is emphasised with fun and enjoyment is at the core of the sessions.

Each drill or activity is explained so that the children appreciate why they are doing a specific activity. Sessions are kept affordable.  The Club works with local schools to offer discounted provision to low income families.

The age group of the participants ranges from 6 – 12 years old, predominately boys but with an increasing numbers of girls. The club are hoping to run a girls’ only session during the summer months.

A group of young sports leaders volunteer at sessions which provide the opportunity of training within a supportive environment.   The volunteer’s ages range from 14 – 18 years old with Sports Leaders Awards, level 1 and level 2 coaching badges.  This provides high quality mentoring and development and helps the Club grow their future coaches and volunteers.

Phil Rogerson, the Chairman of the Club’s community foundation, said: “This project underlines the community focused approach of GAFC and its Community Foundation. Many other holiday sessions are staffed by young coaches, often University students.   This leads to a high staff turnover and a lower quality delivery.  Over the four years of these sessions Danny has seen the young people develop, he knows who he can put together and who are best kept apart. When the children and their parents attend a game they will chat to Danny and they feel that they are part of something bigger.“

“Equally important is the opportunity that it affords for local young coaches to learn how to work with children and young people in both technical coaching and socially.”