Þrottur Reykjavik (Throttur Reykjavik)
Iceland 2nd Tier
Head of goalkeeping & Assistant coach
Men’s & Women’s 1st teams & Goalkeeper Coach for U19 to U12 at the club across boys and girls.
FA B Goalkeeper Licence,
FA Youth Award
Waiting for confirmation to get on UEFA A Goalkeeping licence (with the KSI/Icelandic FA)
Currently studying a degree (Bsc) in sports, fitness and coaching
Jamie started coaching as soon as he finished college in England at the age of 19, where he was an Assistant coach & Goalkeeper Coach at North Warwickshire & Hinckley College. He then went on to become lead Academy Goalkeeper Coach at Burton Albion and after that, got the opportunity of doing the same role at Colchester United. His next move is his current role in Iceland.
Share with us some background and detail about your current role
I’m currently the goalkeeper Coach / coach for Þrottur Reykjavik (Throttur Reykjavik) and enjoying my time working here. The standard of players at first team level is very good and competitive, there are also some very good young players across a range of age groups in both men, women, girls and boys. The environment is similar to back home, in the sense that there’s a need to produce good young talent, whilst still needing success at 1st team level. This is made easier by the club being open and welcoming, along with some great people working here. The club have sound facilities with a full sized floodlit artificial pitch, three grass pitches and gymnasium.
What are your personal targets or set expectations in your role?
Expectations and targets for myself are to produce enjoyable sessions for the kids, allowing them to start detailed learning of the Goalkeeper role. With the 1st teams, I’m preparing the goalkeepers and outfield players to win games.
What’s aiding your personal development in your current role?
I’d say the best thing for my development has been the opportunity to work in a first team environment.It’s giving me the opportunity and experience in dealing with; ex-Youth Internationals, current successful and profiled players in the country, being in an environment where results matter, the pressure to succeed/get promoted, analysis of our own team/opposition and applying it in our training.
What difficulties do you face in your current role?
Learning the language is tough. Although everyone here speaks excellent English, I feel it’s important to adapt to the country you live in. It’s certainly a challenge however, I’ve not been here long and I’m improving each day.
As a British Football Coach Abroad, have you had development chances you may not of got back in the UK?
The opportunity of working with players of a different nationality and how they perceive the game. As well as this working with the younger players, who have only just started to learn English, this challenges me to be specific and simplistic in my explanations and demos of my sessions. They also challenge me to use Icelandic too, in turn, helping me with learning my new language. I feel these have both been a big learning curve and no doubt, will help me in the future when needing to adapt to different situations.
Another major factor for development is the amount of hours I can coach. Players at younger age groups play for their local club and live either walking or cycling distance from the club. The youngest players train three times per week (6/7 year olds) up to the oldest youth players (17-19) training five times per week. Similar with the 1st teams, that although the players are part time and have other jobs, they will train in the evenings after they have finished work, four or five times in the week and sometimes on the weekend. I didn’t see or hear of many part time clubs in the UK who have this level of commitment.
Any help with FA Development Home/abroad?
I’d previously spoken with the FA regarding that years CPD and they were very happy to help. They also said that continuing to be a member of the FALCC would be beneficial. I’ve also been in contact with people on the goalkeeping side of things and again, they’ve been happy to help.
Any Issues faced due to being a British Football Coach abroad?
The biggest issue I face is getting onto a UEFA A licence course, due to overseas coaches not being high on the priority list for development. Having spoken to the KSI and people over here, they have been very accommodating and have helped in every way possible with questions or queries.
The only issues with this would be, the courses are obviously delivered in Icelandic and as previously mentioned, I’m not yet at the language level where I would receive benefit from it. For the UEFA A Goalkeeper licence, I am lucky to have met someone through the club, who is willing to help translate the course for me. This will hopefully help me to improve in everything I am doing and add to the excellent work being done by coaches and the KSI.
Working abroad, has there been a time when you’ve heard or faced perceptions of a British Coach?
I haven’t seen/heard any negativity around the quality of British coaches, people over here have grown up watching the premier league and almost everyone who likes football, supports a team from England. If anything, this raises people’s opinion on you as a coach before you deliver (but they won’t let you forget the result from Euro 2016). People’s mentality, attitude and being open minded to learn new things over here is very good, there are coaches from various different places working out here and players are keen to learn from anyone and everyone to help them become a better player.I feel my opportunities to progress in this country, or potentially to another country, has been enhanced since moving here.
The Future ?
As previously mentioned, I hope to get on and obtain both UEFA A licences (Outfield/Goalkeeper), I have been privileged enough to work for the KSI on their goalkeeper talent ID camp for 12/13 year olds, this is something I wish to do again and hopefully have the opportunity of working with an age group. Short term aims at the club are to get promoted to the premier league in Iceland (Pepsi League). As for my long term aims… I just want to continue enjoying what I do and develop further as a person/coach – this could be here or elsewhere, I will see as time goes on. There are many personal aims/goals that I want to achieve, so the best club to help do that will be my future progression.
What’s your Inspiration (if you wish to share)?
Football has always been my passion, it’s where I wanted to go as a career. Because of this, I’ve worked hard to develop my skills, enabling me to get into a position where that is happening. As a young person/coach myself, my advice to anyone (and it might sound cliché) would be to work hard, study, find experienced coaches to learn from and take opportunities that arise. Like other people who will write something for this website, I have moved away from family and friends, to pursue something that means something to me, I know I can always return home.
With that being said, I know I would have regretted not taking this opportunity to experience something new, I would rather look back and think why did I do that, instead of what if I had done that.
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