Brighton & Hove Albion first-team coach Paul Nevin has been called up to Gareth Southgate’s coaching staff for England’s matches against the United States and Croatia next month.
Nevin will be involved with the senior squad for the matches at Wembley Stadium on the 15th and 18th November respectively as part of an initiative from the FA to ensure BAME coaching placements across all England squads.
Chief executive Paul Barber said, “We are always happy for our coaching and technical staff to support the work of national teams when invited to do so: it’s good recognition and experience for the individuals concerned.
“It’s also good for our club and reflects our growing profile and reputation, as well as that of our staff, and I’m sure it’ll be a real moment of pride for Paul and his family to be involved with the national team.”
Paul Elliott, chair of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, added, “The FA now has a clear commitment to giving talented coaches from under-represented groups the chance to work with England teams.
“I have long felt that having more visibility around the national team could only serve to inspire others to follow in their footsteps as well as ensuring these coaches can take their work to another level. I think in future we will look back at this as moment as a defining one for coaching in this country.”
Measures are being put in place across all age groups to provide either active or observational roles. The overall aim is to ensure the diversity of national coaches and support staff better represents the diversity seen in players across the teams.
For the under-21s, Aidy Boothroyd is due to be joined by Terry Connor, who most recently worked as assistant manager at Ipswich Town, for this month’s two UEFA EURO qualifiers at home to Andorra and away to Scotland.
Former England defender Sol Campbell has been earmarked to work alongside Boothroyd’s staff in November. Iffy Onuora had been working on a similar basis in recent months including the successful Toulon Tournament last summer.
In the months to come, more opportunities will be identified for BAME coaches to work first-hand in the England age-group environment including across the women’s set-up and in return pass on their own expertise and experience.
Dan Ashworth, The FA’s Technical Director, who continues in that role before joining Albion next year, said, “While we recognise English football has a long way to go in boosting diversity across our coaching community, this is a step in the right direction. There are a lot of talented coaches who just need the opportunity.
“I am particularly pleased we have been able to put together a programme that will allow them the flexibility to come in and work at St George’s Park when their schedules permit.
“I must also thank all the clubs concerned for supporting a plan that will be a huge help to ensuring our teams build on their significant progress of recent years.”
The three-year strategy which launched in August is set to lead the way across the game in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion, with further opportunities to be confirmed into 2018 depending on coaches’ availability and club commitments.