Players should be urged to learn coaching skills

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Matlock Town Academy head coach Jamie Yates stressed it was essential for young players to consider coaching in the early stages of their careers, writes Daniel Orme.

A midfielder for the Gladiators, the 28-year-old Yates — who also oversees the development of youngsters at Causeway Lane — said: “It is essential. You see a lot of players who end their careers and do not have an idea of what they want to do next.

“If players want to take sessions and want advice, I would want to help them as best as I can.”

The former Rotherham United man also highlighted his delight at the development of the players already involved in coaching.

He said: “I’ve seen a huge improvement in these players, absolutely. With those individuals who go from playing and training from once or twice a week to four or five times a week, you definitely see an improvement.”

However, Yates also suggested he was shocked at the lack of grassroots coaching within the Football League.

“It’s surprising to me that Premier League and Football League clubs do not look at the effect on players,” he said.

“They could possibly look at the coaching influence.”

The importance of players learning their trade in the coaching profession has also been argued by a couple of Matlock youth prospects.

Centre-back Liam Aston and goalkeeper Jack Bradley, both 17, have aspirations of moving into coaching and possibly management.

Aston earned his FA Level One coaching qualification before he arrived at the club in 2016.

He praised the Gladiators’ youth set-up for furthering his development in coaching.

The defender said: “The Matlock Academy is brilliant – I am loving it.

“They are massively helping me by being willing to offer badges, going into schools and attending summer camps.

“You learn so much more about the game, the environment and media. It makes you respect all aspects of the game that are behind the scenes.

“I would massively encourage young players to definitely get their coaching badges.”