Dyche shares secret of success with coaches

21 May 2018

Burnley manager provides insight to coaches from 92 PL and EFL clubs at Youth Development Conference

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Sean Dyche has just led his team to an unprecedented seventh place in the Premier League and a first European campaign for over 50 years.

But, the Burnley manager was more than happy to share the secrets behind his side's success with the next generation of coaches at the 2017/18 Premier League Youth Development Conference.

"It's good to have an open mind," Dyche says. "You're constantly adapting and learning, and the more you can pick up off others can only be helpful."

Idea sharing

More than 500 coaches from all 92 clubs in the Premier League and EFL gathered at the two-day event hosted at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux Stadium and West Bromwich Albion’s The Hawthorns.

"You can learn a lot off all the courses, and being out there on the grass, but sometimes you need to catch up with these people," Dyche adds.

"You can rub off on each other with different things you've found from doing the role that you do, and that can be as important as any course."

As well as gaining the insight of the highest-placed UK manager in the Premier League, the academy coaches also shared their ideas and best practice in the aim of producing more and better home-grown players.

James Shan, the Professional Development Phase coach at West Brom, demonstrated to his peers a "matchday minus one" session, designed to prepare his squad for a fixture.

“It’s really important when you’re working six-day weeks, long hours, and you’re only working in your own environment, to step outside of that environment and know what’s going on at other places,” Shan explains.

2017/18 Premier League Youth Development Conference
Coaches from Wolves and West Brom were among those to share their ideas with breakout sessions

Shan paused throughout his drills to explain his methods to the crowd of coaches watching from the main Molineux stand.

"If you’ve got a growth mindset and you’re a coach who wants to better yourself, when you find new, innovative ways to improve your players you jump all over it."

Scott Sellars, Wolves’ Premier League 2 coach, was proud to show his methods and the work of the club.

Quality coaches key

"You learn as a player from good coaches and then working with other people," Sellars says. "Watching situations like this, and watching great coaches work, sometimes it lets you see the little details you don't see yourself."

Much focus has been on the influx of talent that has helped Wolves to the 2018/19 Premier League, but academy graduates such as 18-year-old Morgan Gibbs-White have also played their part, thanks to Sellars' input.

"What I would define as a great coach, the ones I've worked with give me something I haven't seen," Sellars says. "Hopefully, one or two people get the opportunity over this conference to do that."

Looking beyond football

For Neil Saunders, Head of Youth at the Premier League, the main aim of the academies is to develop more and better home-grown players, but his department’s core work is in developing and educating young people. That can mean going beyond the football world.

"It's really important that we learn from everywhere we possibly can," Saunders says.

"We're also keen to look into lots of different areas.

"Yes, we share best practice from within football, but also looking outside to business, sport and education, and also making sure that it allows us to meet the highest standards in all areas."

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