Chanelle McManus has come through the journey as a participant, then a volunteer, leading to paid casual work, leading to regular paid hours and she is now on her second year as a Foundation degree student on Preston North End’s Education Programme.
The passion to coach and the love of football is what drives Preston North End’s Foundation Degree Student Chanelle McManus into going the extra mile, for both her degree and future aspirations.
Known as ‘Nel’, the PNE student is a familiar face when Preston North End are out in the community; she is a regular deliverer of a variety of sessions – to providing national curriculum PE lessons in schools to primary school children, to overseeing walking football sessions to the over 50s, and it’s the natural variation and diversity of the job that saw Nell catch the ‘coaching bug’.
Nel’s roots of working in the community stem from attending sessions delivered by the Trust, but it when she was eventually working with the Trust that saw her find out about the education opportunities that Preston North End provides to post-16 students.
The Foundation Degree that Nel fulfils, ‘Community Football Coaching and Development’ is delivered alongside the University of South Wales in partnership with the EFL Trust.
The course focuses on all aspects of children’s and youth coaching, football coaching, football development, social inclusion and sports management skills, allowing the student to study all sub-disciplines of coaching and football development.
Where is Nell Now?
Nell is currently juggling all sorts with the club! She is in her 3rd year of her degree working assignments and projects anywhere between 10 and 30 hours in a week. At the same time, she is working 10 hours on the Primary Stars programme, and 10 hours on Inclusion, holiday camps during school holidays, and home match days. She is hoping that when she graduates next year, that she can find her dream job within the football club.
“Every day is different. I’ve just come back from a school now and I had 20 kids in the entire school and I’ve never done that before, and later on I will go into a bigger school with more challenging children – You can work in all sorts here; I do a nursery on a Wednesday then I’ll do a Walking Football on a Friday so I’m literally involved in everything.
I’ve always played football; I played for Preston North End WJFC up until open age so I’ve always played but it was when I did my work experience with Mel in high school where I got the bug for coaching. Now, I actually prefer coaching and developing players then playing it myself and I’ve actually given up playing now to concentrate on coaching as I didn’t have the time to do both.”
I originally wasn’t going to carry on with education, just look to work my way through working as a casual coach. but having heard about the degree and what it entails, I decided to put myself forward. I’m obviously reaping the benefits now as I’ll hopefully have an extra qualification whilst doing the work in schools I would have been doing anyway.
To comply with my course, I do half of my experience voluntary with walking football etc, just to get different things on my CV, so that I’m with different age groups but the majority is still paid work as I was doing the paid work before my degree.
“Hopefully there’ll be an opening here one day, just so that I can continue working here, but in a full-time capacity and just keep doing what I’m doing. I love what I’m doing now, but I want to do it full-time eventually. I’ve always been a PNE fan so that’s always been a bonus. I’ve been given the opportunity to work matchdays and I’ve met the players and the manager whilst doing the birthday parties so that’s always a bonus for me.” – Chanelle McManus
“I always knew Chanelle would end up in the football industry from a young age, but doing what exactly, we never knew. She was intending on taking a gap year out but Preston North End provided her with the opportunity to develop her future career and education at the same time. Now after her time at PNE she more or less has her future set in stone in what she wants to do. I love the fact that every day she comes home happy and loves what she does!” – Kelly McManus, Nell’s mum
“I have witnessed Nell grow from a shy young girl into a mature young lady. The passion, determination, grit and desire to get where she is today is phenomenal. She is not only always reliable and punctual, she has grown from strength to strength as a lead coach.
“Her confidence has grown so much. She used to be apprehensive about leading sessions and working with different age groups. She is now leading sessions with ease for nursery age all the way up to 80-year olds. Every participant she works with only ever has positive feedback for her. We once tried to shuffle some hours around, subsequently moving Nell off a particular session she led, and the participants kicked off! “
It has made me so proud to see where Nell has come to and where she is now, and she will only keep getting better.” – Melissa Brown, Inclusion Manager, Preston North End