Chanelle McManus’ affiliation with Preston North End Community and Education Trust began when she enrolled on our foundation degree programme, but her impact within the Trust would extend much further than that.
‘Nel’ was initially reluctant to continue her education journey but after becoming immersed in the world of coaching, she took the plunge to study our foundation degree in Community Football Coaching and Development, which is delivered in partnership with the University of South Wales and the EFL Trust.
The foundation degree is a two-year course that offers students experience in a variety of coaching setting and once she had graduated, Nel even moved onto the studying the full bachelor’s degree.
Alongside her studies, Mel was able to gain a wealth of coaching opportunites with the Trust, from working with our walking footballers, in schools and in a whole number of environments, to assisting with the delivery of community activities on matchdays.
"I originally wasn't going to carry on with education, just look to work my way through working as a casual coach," said Nel, following her first year of study.
"But having heard about the degree and what it entails, I decided to put myself forward. I'm obviously reaping the benefits now as I'll hopefully have an extra qualification whilst doing the work in schools I would have been doing anyway.
"To comply with my course, I do half of my experience voluntary with walking football etc, just to get different things on my CV, so that I'm with different age groups but the majority is still paid work as I was doing the paid work before my degree.
"It's been a good first year and I've enjoyed it. It's very independent which is what I like as I like to go away and do it all in my own time and base it around my practical work.
"I'd certainly recommend the course but you've got to be committed and have a love of football to make the most of it.
"Because the course is independent, it's easy for students to come onto the course and just not bother and not take the wonderful opportunities on offer, so you have to be committed.
"I make sure I go out of my way to take advantage of all the experience offered here. I do the walking football, I don't need to do that but I took it upon myself to do that so I think you should just go for it and take advantage of the opportunities available."
After more than five years’ association with the Trust either in an educational or coaching capacity, Nel recently took up a full-time coaching role at Burnley FC in the Community!
The Trust are still recruiting for new students on the foundation degree course for this September, so if you’re looking to follow a similar pathway to Nel’s, you can express your interest in studying with us by clicking her or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nel’s story was initially featured here.