My first coaching job. Archive footage of Gems FC


In 2004 I was given the opportunity to coach a football team called Gems FC. After my pursuit for a professional career in football was ended with a serious knee injury. I got my FA level one badge in coaching that summer. I focussed my attention on coaching while I was still studying for my A levels at college.  More than 60 young people turned up for the trials. The aim was to help break the divide in our part of Hackney, bringing different young people together from Hoxton, Haggerston, Murry Grove, Holly street.  After the large turn out to be part of this new under 16 team, I recruited Gabriel Ogundana who was my assistant coach. After two weeks we reduced the number from 60 to a 25 man squad.

During my time with Gems FC, it was more than just being a football coach, it was an opportunity to mentor and help motivate them. Even though I was only 18 no more than two years older than some of them the respect was there and I was able to learn from them as well.

I enjoyed my two years with Gems FC, it is one of the best memories I have had working with young people. It was like a family and in those two years we won 4 trophies and remained undefeated in our second season.


This is highlights of 2004/2005 season