Brighton & Hove Albion joint under-18s coach Mikey Harris says that the UEFA Pro Licence he graduated with last week is an achievement he’s strived for since he started his coaching career.
The Albion coach was one of 27 coaches from a range of clubs who obtained the licence at St George’s Park last week, and he spoke of his pride at collecting the qualification.
He said, “It’s a very proud moment and something I always set out to achieve when I started coaching.
“I set myself the goal of doing it before the age of 35 and I’ve just about managed to do that, so I’m delighted.
“It’s been a fantastic course with a really good group of people and I’ve learned a huge amount from it and made a lot of friends along the way – it’s been a fantastic experience and one I’m very grateful for.”
Harris began the course in January 2018, before going through the 18-month process, which included a range of subject areas.
He revealed that the course, based at St George’s Park, had taught him a lot about the importance of having the right people and personalities around you in order to be successful in the game.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learnt from it is the fact that the game and being successful in it is about people. Having the right people and creating the right environment and culture within what you’re doing to be successful is important,” he continued.
“It’s about building relationships, and we had a range of experiences in the room. There were people who were working with a lot of resources, and at the other end of the scale you had people who were enjoying success with very little.
“It’s a really good forum to discuss the game and to learn and pick things up.”
The young Seagulls side, managed by Harris and Mark Beard, won eight of their last nine matches to end the 2018/19 campaign in fifth position in the U18 Premier League South, and the former spoke of the lessons he could bring back to the south coast ahead of the new season.
“Simon Rusk graduated on the last course and he said to me last week that I would miss it and I agree with him, you do look forward to the catch ups and the conversations, but obviously I’m delighted to complete the course.
“One of the things that these courses then do is allow you to come back to your club and transfer what you’ve learnt. It’s vital, and the club are a big advocate of sharing your experiences from these courses with your colleagues.
“I’ve always tried to bring something back each time and share it with the staff, it’s not just about me, it’s about what I can bring back to the club to help us move forward together.
“Everyone at Brighton is always trying to improve and learn every day and I’m no different to anyone else.”