Roger Wilkinson – Monty had the right idea

We were joined this evening by Coach Roger Wilkinson formerly a player with Plymouth Argyle and Luton Town, a coach with Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and the New Zealand under 17 and 20 teams and director of coaching for the New Zealand Football Association.

Now living in Wolverhampton Roger explained how a shared coaching ethos with John Cartwright led the two of them to found Premier Skills – a local not for profit company with a worldwide reach – where he is now a Director of Coaching.

Roger and the team at Premier Skills are convinced that the current FA approach to the development of players and coaching staff simply does not work and through their development of their Practice Play system they have sought to replicate the conditions which made the street football of the 50’s and 60’s such a great incubator for British footballing talent.

Its not surprising that the team at Premier Skills take part of their inspiration from the great Liverpool sides of Shankly and Paisley but it was a little more of surprise to hear how important a role Field Marshall Montgomery has played in the development of their system.
Roger explained how Monty had understood the need to focus on the job at hand, the need to get the morale right within the team, the importance of knowing your enemy, of surrounding yourself with good people and of clearly communicating to all both the culture he expected of them and their objectives.
Premier Skills have translated this onto the football field by ensuring that everyone understands the game style which they are working towards, the importance of governing the ball, the need to go forward with purpose, to create clever chances and to maximise finishing opportunities. Training is focused on playing football rather than ball games.
Roger stressed the importance of not only winning but winning with style and the Club wishes him and the rest of the team at Premier Skills every success in bringing about their coaching revolution.

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