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Meet Duncan Spalding, a British Coach in Costa Rica

British Coach in Costa Rica journey to working with Malawi in African Cup of Nations. Meet Duncan Spalding...

Duncan Spalding has lived in Costa Rica for over 13 years now for family reasons. He had been working as a Finance Manager but always wanted to work in football. During a family trip back to England for three weeks in between jobs, he took his level 1 coaching badge and was taught and inspired by an FA tutor Roger Crouch at the Sussex FA, who had been taught by the then England manager Roy Hodgson. Planning the coaching drills and collaborating with other coaches was a great introduction to coaching football.

On his return to Costa Rica, he was contracted to work at United World Colleges Costa Rica as the Head Soccer Coach which was an experience since the whole squad of players consisted of over 25 nationalities, so communication was very important. In the early days, his technical knowledge of football was basic however always standing at Brighton and Worthing games behind the dugouts now called technical areas helped to coach and motivate players. After four years and a return to a Finance career his ambition was to keep working with players, he took up a voluntary coaching role with a project funded by the British Embassy in Costa Rica, where he had to communicate only in Spanish and then worked with a leading academy in Costa Rica which was linked with Atletico Madrid as an under 17 coach. During this time Duncan took his Costa Rican football federation coaching badges so he could coach in organized regional leagues. Also, his own academy English Soccer School Costa Rica kept him busy, and then during the pandemic delivered one-to-one football coaching to elite players wanting to play professionally or go to play in the United States.

Motivating the United World Colleges Players before a game.

During a period of working on his social media channels, Duncan through his 121 football coach twitter account was in touch with

He was fortunate to meet Ged Searson a former Premier League First Team Scout and Football League Chief Scout through this medium firstly to help grow in Costa Rica. Ged invited him on to his extraordinary fully interactive Player Recruitment and Scouting workshops. Duncan swiftly progressed through all the levels 1 to 6 of the Professional Football - S4 SCOUTING football workshops which Ged Searson lectures on. He has also taken the tactical scouting and analysis workshops showing a great deal of knowledge of football, also demonstrating his understanding of football coaching.

Voluntary work with the British Embassy in Costa Rica.

Ged had no hesitation in offering Duncan a scouting role with him at the Malawi FA last December when Ged was employed as the Chief Scout of the Malawi national football team. Duncan was actively involved in the preparation for the AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS tournament in January where he scouted the upcoming opponents. He created detailed scout reports on individual players and opponents which were a significant help to the team that made history by reaching the last sixteen of the tournament for the first time in the country’s history. Duncan was also given the role of Scout Organiser collaborating with his fellow scouts to ensure all opponents were fully covered and reports were submitted on time to Ged and the national coaching team.

After this fantastic experience, Duncan was hired by the British School of Costa Rica as the Head Football Coach working with all the different age groups and school teams daily. Duncan is clear that there is no doubt that Coaching and Scouting are intricately linked and knowing both is helpful for coach’s and scout's development.

If you want to connect with Duncan, you can find him on social media below.

Scouting work for the Malawi National Team. Chief Scout Ged Searson at AFCON in Cameroon.

S4Scouting Workshop group photo.

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