Hey Guys, Today i have Gérard Jones, director of Gérard School of Football Ltd (A specialist football and character development centre).
Gérard School of Football (GSF) provides specialist football coaching to boys and girls of all abilities aged from 5-14, now regarded as the North of England Premier Football School having reached Top 7 in the UK for Best Local Activity for Children Aged 5-12 out of over 2,500 nominations from parents.
They also provide youth footballers with superior coaching staff, state-of-the-art player & character development programs and access to a well-rounded curriculum that creates a positive environment for all players and pupils to achieve success on the field, in the classroom, and in their personal lives.
Hey Gérard how are you doing? Welcome to YHP....
Please give us some background information about yourself.
Hi, well I’m one of Yorkshire’s most promising entrepreneurs having been awarded Enterprise UK ambassador Status, having launched the Gérard School of Football at the age of 19, which is now the name behind revolutionising youth development in the UK. I’m a former youth professional having featured in the world’s biggest football magazine FourFourTwo, but unfortunately got released at 19 so I decided that I would pursue a career as a professional football coach which later lead to starting my own business and featuring on BBC with bookmakers ranking me at 1000/1 to become the next England Manager.
You hold an interesting business, being known in other terms as the “Football School”. Where did the idea come from?
I got released at 19 and I immediately decided that I would be a better coach than a player even though I had offers to play in USA on scholarship and some local pro clubs.
I went to study a BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching & Performance at The University of Hull and started coaching for local FA running Development Centres and holding high positions at professional football clubs in both a coaching capacity and performance analysis, and after seeing what people such as The FA, and other coaching organisations, including professional football clubs were offering in terms of youth development I decided I wasn’t happy with what is going on.
Having researched further I found that this was happening all over the UK and England is currently more than 15years behind Europe and rest of the world, so I decided to do things my way and thus launched my own specialist football development centre.
Now I’m being offered jobs to coach at top Premiership Football Clubs and my dream is to make a name for myself in being the best at developing youth and use that reputation to continue with my business projects, but also work my way up the ranks and eventually become England Manager and change things at the very top!
How did you start this business?
I’m a UEFA Licensed Coach at 20 which is highly impressive, and I already had professional background at both playing and coaching so I used my reputation to attract local kids in and simply grew from there. Once people saw the quality and what we did that was superior to our competitors we grew at an accelerating rate.
Where did the funding of this business come from?
The funding came from myself, I didn’t have a great deal of money, but I used what I had earned from coaching before and bought equipment and I then set the business up as Limited Company, straight away started on a professional footing and went from there to the point where the demand was so high that we could employ other highly skilled coaching and the rest is history.
How old is “Gerard School of Football”?
1 year and 2 months.
How big is Gerard School of Football?
We are very big and can only get bigger, we employ full-time staff, coach on average over 200 pupils a week through our football excellence and life skills programmes which will soon rise to over 1000 pupils a week.
We are currently regarded as the North of England Premier Football School with satellite centres all other the Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire region, having recently reached Top 7 in the UK for Best Local Activity for Children Aged 5-12 out of over 2,500 nominations from parents.
Children around the ages of 5 – 14, are allowed to be coached; are there any particular reasons why you didn’t go higher than 14?
The main reason is because we specialise in developing youth, so the players that come through our programmes from 5years old+ once they reach 15/16+ will have a better level of understanding and technical development than if we were to take 16year for example.
The older a person gets the harder it is to retrain the individual as they are already limited in the movement patterns and behaviours which are now starting to become set-in-stone.
We do work with players above 14 on request but this is rarely.
Do you coach girls as well?
Yes we do and we are actively promoting the provision for girls football in our region.
The word “football” generally conjures up the image of boys playing such activity; however do you believe that football is for boys only?
No absolutely not! This is both a boys and girls sport and we actively promote this.
How is business working with your Dad?
It’s good, with my Dad onboard full-time we are moving at an accelerated rate and his experience in business is good to have around.
Do you think it’s advisable to mix family with business?
Yes in my instance, but what’s good for me might not necessarily be good for others. I would recommend this because there’s no one else you can trust better than family and I’m extremely close to mine, but as I said this may not be the case for other people.
What football team do you support?
Middlesbrough FC and I will one day manage them!
Who is your favourite sport player?
Why didn’t you pursue your career as footballer, since you were a former professional youth football player?
It’s because I had all the chances in the world, contracts, trials, magazines etc yet I would still make mistakes but with coaching I’ve always been very successful , so I decided that I would make a better coach than a player and thought, If I start early, when I hit the scene big it will have a bigger impact!
What do you study in university?
BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching & Performance
Do you believe that it is essential for one to be educated, in order to maintain a good business?
I believe it helps as the more educated you are, the more credibility and expertise you hold which can only help you with your business interests.
What are your views on students who stop education in order to become a footballer?
They are crazy because football is a short lived career and you short always have a backup just incase anything unexpected happens.
Is it easy holding a business as well studying?
Not easy, at times it’s very difficult and demanding but as I’ve always said, you make time for the things you want to do, that’s why it annoys me when people say they are busy
Studying, running a business, family....are you left with free time to do what you wish?
Not really, a lot of my time is wake-up early, go to bed late and I don’t have time for socialising with friends etc but it’s what I love, I want to work hard so that one day I become highly successful and can support my family financially whilst achieving my dreams.
Where do you see this business going in the next 5 years?
Massively growing as the major provider for specialist football coaching throughout the Yorkshire & Humber, launching revolutionary private school at Lilleshall National Sports Centre and being associated with a major professional football club working with 1000’s of youth footballers each week.
What are your presents aims for “Gerard School of Football”?
• To improve the effectiveness of athlete performance;
• To revolutionise youth development and provide all children the chance to fulfill their potential and make their dreams become a reality;
• To leave a lasting legacy in the lives of people who we have worked with;
• To be the world leader in our fields of expertise.
What is your advice to the young generation of footballers to be?
Don’t put barriers in your way, if you can dream it, you can live it!
What is your advice to the young business minded generation to come?
Never give up, don’t let others get you down and believe in yourself or no one else will.
If you really do believe in yourself then the only ones who should show fear are your competitors. You can become the best if you believe you are the best.