Charlton Youth Development Phase Coach (U12-U16 age groups) Vince Lee coached the University of Greenwich's Women’s team to their first league title.
Lee was assigned a responsibility around mentoring student coaches as part of the club's partnership with the University.
While carrying out his work, Lee was asked to coach the women's team. He said: “It’s been a great partnership. I’ve lectured, coached and looked after the guys on work placements. It’s so valuable.
“It’s all about getting people employed in football. There’s been some terrific examples. A lad from Denmark on the football degree programme came on a work placement with us and is now working with us in the academy. He’s gone above and beyond and is now working in recruitment, doing some scouting, talent ID and looking after the trialists. He’s been outstanding. Another lad has got some coaching work with the Community Trust."
A particular highlight for Vince has been the rise of Sam Tomkins, who joined the clubs’ academy staff after his work placement whilst studying.
“Sam Tomkins is now full time as a sports science coach, he was a student at Greenwich and now works for our Under 18s and has gone back to do guest lectures too. It’s so valuable that he not only gets the experience with us, but then can go back and talk about it at the university to encourage more people to come and work with us.
“I’ve also recently graduated with a teaching qualification. It’s great to be able to go over and guest lecture and inspire people to come into the football coaching world. There’s huge similarities between teaching and coaching, we are teachers of the game. Adding the teaching string to my bow only makes me a better coach.”
When discussing the success of the women’s team at the university, Vince paid homage to striker Georgia Griffin, who plays for Charlton Athletic Women too.
“She was key in the success of the university! We couldn’t have done it without her, and it’s great to see her inspiring her teammates. People like her really encourage other students to get into football and it’s great to see.”
With the University of Greenwich Women’s team winning the league, they have remained unbeaten since Vince Lee joined the setup before Christmas and the coach has enjoyed his time with the team.
“Half of the season I’ve helped coach the women’s team, going on to win the league was a particular highlight for me acting as the head coach. As well as benefiting the players, it was a valuable bit of experience for myself too.” he explained
“The partnership is fantastic and I’m so proud of all the work that we have done. At first, I made the most of what was a bit of a burden but I’ve really enjoyed it.”
[Article by Nick Emms]