Elite Coaching Plan

2 Sep 2021
Dean Smith and Graham Potter

Launched in 2020 the ECP aims to create a world-leading coaching development system in the English professional game

Related Articles
Elite Heads of Coaching
Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme
Professional Player to Coach Scheme

The Premier League launched its Elite Coaching Plan (ECP) in 2020 with an aim to improve pathways for coaches and to create a world-leading coaching development system in Academies and at first-team level across the English professional game.

The ECP supports the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), whose objective is to produce more and better home-grown players by further developing Academy coaching, as well as producing the highest-quality coaching at all levels of a player’s pathway, including the first team.

The EPPP also aims to produce home-developed coaches on a regular basis for the professional game and the England national team. 

The League's vision of a world-leading coaching development system will be achieved by elevating the quality of coaching across the English system. This will lead to a positive change in the global perception of our coaching at Academy and at first-team level.

To meet these goals, the ECP identifies seven key areas of focus. It will: 

  • Identify, target, attract individuals of high potential
  • Provide the best development programmes possible to realise those individuals' potential 
  • Create better opportunities within the coaching system 
  • Develop and enhance strategic investment and partnerships
  • Build and normalise an inclusive and diverse workforce across the professional game 
  • Expand quality assurance provision for coach development 
  • Promote a culture of world-leading insight, research and innovation 

Since the launch of the EPPP in 2012, the Academy coaching workforce has more than tripled in size, going from 250 full-time coaches to more than 800. In that time, each club have also appointed a full-time Head of Coaching.

In total, the number of coaches in the Professional Coaching Workforce has grown to about 2,500.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

An important focus of the Premier League is to increase the diversity of this coaching workforce. We are committed to addressing the lack of coaches from Black, Asian and Mixed men and women of all backgrounds, including the historic underrepresentation of black former players in coaching and other technical roles.

The League has partnered with the EFL, PFA and LMA across various positive-action schemes and development programmes to create better opportunities for coaches from currently underrepresented groups both in Premier League and EFL clubs. One example of this is the Professional Player to Coach Scheme.

The ECP is also an integral part of the Integrated Coaching Strategy (ICS), where we are working with our professional game partners, The Football Association, the League Managers’ Association, the EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association.

More on the Elite Coaching Plan

Elite Coach Accreditation Scheme  
Coach Inclusion & Diversity Scheme
Professional Player to Coach Scheme 
Elite Heads of Coaching

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