'We have gone from 0 to around 80 players within a year, on top of one group winning their league and cup unbeaten and another group which I spent most of my time with, reaching the cup final in their first year... '
Name, age, where are you based?
Govinda Sharma, 21 years old, Derby, United Kingdom
Current and past Roles:
Currently I coach with Notts County Women on a weekly basis as well as with GAD Khalsa and Melbourne Dynamo Girls. My role with Notts County is to coach the U15 group whereas at GAD and at Melbourne, I coach a variety of groups and help to mentor the younger coaches. I also coach and provide some analysis with the national team Panjab FA. I have coached with Leeds UTD SC and I am grateful to all of these clubs who have supported my development as a coach so far. My previous experience during college and university consists of many other roles, such as refereeing, scouting and sports therapy, however I am looking to focus on the coaching route.
I am currently completing the UEFA B (level 3) License course and finishing my degree in Performance Analysis and Coaching Science.
I have qualifications in all of the other areas of the game previously stated including the HUDL Level 1 in Football Analysis.
How did you get into coaching and what has your path been like?
My route has been pretty simple, at GAD the team I had played for folded and there was an opportunity to stay involved with the club by coaching. Alongside playing I coached through three different groups within five years and the club supported my FA Level 1 and Level 2 coaching courses and various other qualifications.
After gaining the experience at GAD and with some networking I was ready to take a step up. In Feb 2019 I was part of the Panjab FA and in April 2019 Melbourne Dynamo gave me an opportunity, to take a team and in Sept 2019 I was coaching at Leeds UTD SC. Being part of four teams on a weekly basis was a challenge on top of university studies but the experience and challenge is necessary in order to stand out and I have loved my time with all of these clubs.
In July 2020, after a year at Melbourne, they had recommended to Notts County that they should consider approaching me for a role. They wanted a young coach with new ideas and thankfully everything has fallen into place. I still coach at Melbourne as well as mentoring the younger coaches, I was in their shoes 5-6 years ago.
Any achievements or experiences to mention?
My achievements consist of going a full year unbeaten with GAD in the 2019-20 season before COVID. We were on course to win the league with a huge goal difference and unbeaten. I was the Coach in the Spotlight in April 2019 which I was proud of, there is an article written about that.
Being a part of helping Melbourne Dynamo girls set up as a club will always stand out.
We have gone from 0 to around 80 players within a year, on top of one group winning their league and cup unbeaten and another group which I spent most of my time with, reaching the cup final in their first year. Mentoring the coaches at Melbourne has been a massive experience for me, as I am still learning but also giving back what I know already.
This has been huge in developing myself as a coach. Experience wise, Panjab FA have had days away at grounds such as the Wolves Training Centre (Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground) and weekend trips to places such as Barry Town in Wales. At university, we have had opportunities to visit places such as the Derby training ground and to have meetings with the performance analysts and coaches there.
What important experiences have you gained so far and how have they developed you, from when you first started coaching?
The transition from coaching and playing boys/men football all of my life to then coaching girls has been massive. It is a completely different challenge and I feel only certain coaches would be able to manage within the women’s game. I never thought I would be part of the female game when I first started coaching but it is growing massively, it is an FA priority and I am glad to be a part of it.
Being involved and having as much experience as possible to stand out is important. Coaching with Panjab FA for the first time was a great experience. At the time, I had never coached with a huge group of mainly semi-professional and non-league players, this set the standard for me in which I should be comfortable coaching at.
What’s been a real stand out moment in terms of experience?
The away trip to Barry Town with Panjab stands out as I was involved in helping to coach the group as well as doing the pre-match analysis. Barry Town had European football to play, so having the opportunity to analyse and present information on the team was great. We also had a full weekend away there which was an amazing time.
How has your Analysis Degree been relatable to your actual analysis roles?
In our analysis degree there is heavy information on the coaching side, as well as the other modules. The key modules that have helped with my coaching and analysis are psychology, biomechanics, movement analysis and advanced sports coaching.
There is so much information in these modules which I have taken and applied into my coaching that have taken the detail in my sessions to a greater level. Within the groups I coach, there is always opportunity to record biomechanical work. Having the skillset to do this on top of coaching makes me stand out
What other roles and skills have you looked to embrace, which you have found useful in terms of being an actual coach?
Since Jan 2018 I have been part of the Derbyshire County FA Youth Council which has allowed myself to take part, organise and deliver football projects around the county. This role has helped to raise my confidence as well as my leadership qualities.
Refereeing for four seasons also helped to raise my confidence as I was consistently working with new teams and managers. I am involved in projects that help to promote the involvement of coaches and players in female football
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced and how were you able to overcome them?
Deciding whether to move into football as a full-time role was a huge challenge as I had interests in other areas. In 2017 I realised football does not feel like your typical 9-5 job, I am always happy when I am playing or coaching; this was a huge influence in my decision.
After that phase, it was whether I could gain enough experience to achieve what I have today and to better this with years to come.
What’s been best for your career development so far and what do you do to keep upskilled?
Starting my performance analysis and coaching science degree was a huge step as it has allowed myself to focus on sport completely. Within the three years I have been studying I have spent all of my time learning new skills, researching and gaining as much experience as possible in order to stand out. I want to be the best possible.
How’s the future looking for yourself?
I finish my degree in the summer of 2021, I am hoping to land a full-time role working within football. I have had some approaches for full-time roles, but I am waiting for one that I cannot refuse. This includes working abroad, which I will hope to do at some point in my life. I hope to keep growing as a person and coach and to help others start or progress in their coaching journey too.