Coaches Academy


Welcome to the Devon FA Coaches Academy

The Devon FA Coaches Academy offers coaches regular continuous personal development (CPD) opportunities through observing topical coaching workshops, matchday support, conferences, and online workshops. These 2 and a half hour long workshops will be delivered by FA Technical and Coach Developers staff, FA affiliated tutors and professional game coaches. Coaches will be able to be a part of a community of practice which shares best practice and discusses real challenges as part of the county’s ongoing pursuit in developing coaches and creating effective football players.

Tell me about the Devon FA Coaches Academy programme?

The season long CPD programme is split into three over-arching themes:

  • ‘Developing the Environment’ (October – December)
  • ‘Developing the Practice’ (January – March)
  • ‘Developing the Player’ (April – June)

The programme will cover the male, female, and disability game in the foundation phase (6 – 11 years old), youth development phase (12 – 16 years old) and open age (18+). All coaches will receive a pre-workshop pack with resources and links to useful information which will supplement the workshop topic. Coaches will also receive copies of the resources used in the workshop and an option to be part of an online community group. A bi-monthly newsletter will be sent out with updates on coach development in the county, reminders on upcoming workshops, session ideas and much more. All coaches will be accredited FA CPD hours for attending the workshops.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is for all the coaches in Devon. The programme has over 40 events throughout the season so whether you are just starting your coaching journey, or you have coached for many years, there will be workshops on the programme for you. Whilst all coaches are welcome at every event, the event content will often be targeted to a group of coaching qualifications. The workshop description will give coaches more information to help you decide which workshop is beneficial for you and your players. Coaches must have a minimum of the free FA Playmaker course to be eligible to attend the workshops.

Where will the events be?

The Devon FA Coaches Academy workshops will be delivered at a variety of venues across the county throughout the season. 

How can I get involved?

There are two packages to choose from to join the Devon FA Coaches Academy:

Coach Package

Club Package

You can join as an individual coach and opt to pay per workshop or pay a one-off fee to have full access to the whole programme.

Register your club’s coaching workforce for the season. This will provide all coaches at your club with full access to the whole programme.

N.B. Coaches must hold a coaching role with a team at the club.

£5 per event OR £30 for full access to the programme


£125 per club

Click here to register for the Devon FA Coaches Academy

N.B. Whilst the vast majority of workshops will be part of the Devon FA Coaches Academy programme, a small number of events will be free of charge.





Date: Friday 7th October 2022
Time: 5.30pm – 8pm
Plymouth Marjon University Sports Centre, PL6 8BH
Hosts: Neil Dewsnip, Kevin Nancekivell, Lee Hodge

Take a deep dive into the coaching curriculum of Plymouth Argyle's Academy. The PAFC academy staff will explain and demonstrate the 'PAFC Core Skills' and how you can adapt and apply them with your players. In attendance to showcase the 'PAFC Core Skills' will be former England Youth Coach and Plymouth Argyle Technical Director Neil Dewsnip, First Team Coach Kevin Nancekivell, and Head of Coaching Lee Hodge.

sign up to the workshop here

fundamental for coaches in the foundation phase

Date: Thursday 13th October 2022
Time: 5.00 - 7.30pm
Venue: Exwick Sports Hub, EX4 2BQ

Hosts: Steve Lilley

This workshop focuses on the importance of developing young player’s fundamental movement skills (FMS), with and without the ball. Coaches will be exposed to a number of child friendly games and practices that will help to improve children’s agility, balance, co-ordination & speed, as well as their footballing skills.

sign up to the workshop here

effective coaching in the foundation phase

Date: Thursday 18th October
Time: 5.30 - 8.00pm
Venue: Plymouth Marjon University Sports Centre, PL6 8BH

Hosts: Chris Smietanka, Jon Dawe & Dan Dixon

If you're new to coaching a team, this workshop is tailored for you. This is a series of 4 linked workshops with a support group for collaboration and sharing of best practice which will provide support between workshops and throughout the season. The workshop will cover what effective coaching looks like in the foundation phase (6 - 12 years old) by creating a safe, fun and inclusive environment for all. Each event will have a particular focus to explore which will help you to best support the young people in your care.

sign up to the workshop here


The Developing the Environment’ theme centres around creating a safe, inclusive, and fun environment for your players. For the vast majority of people who play the game, it is a fun, leisure activity for all ages, to be enjoyed. We can all help our players enjoy the game more, by creating the right environment. By allowing them to play with freedom. By letting them make mistakes. By encouraging them to make their own decisions. For some further information, click the link below.



developing the practice

The ‘Developing the Practice’ theme explores best practice coaching sessions which can be adapted to meet the age and stage of your players. The events will see coach educators demonstrating how they design the practices and develop the session in line with their intended learning outcomes. The events will highlight key technical and tactical knowledge and application for coaches to apply within their coaching context. For some further information, click the link below.


developing the player

The ‘Developing the Player’ theme will examine how coaches can take a holistic approach to long term player development. Coaches understanding how the FA four corner model merges together to positively influence the development of their players. The events will be putting under the microscope how, as coaches, we can release the players potential by prioritising their individual needs, including them in the learning process and creating environments conducive to learning and enjoyment. For some further information, click the link.

more information here