The FA Coach Mentor Programme

FA Coach Mentor Programme

Offering on-the-ground support

Mentoring for coaches 

This programme represents a major investment in the grassroots game and offers on-the-ground support to FA Charter Standard Clubs, leagues and target groups.

The FA sees the development of coaches as central to the development of the game, and working collaboratively accelerates learning and supports coaches’ development.

Our team of coach mentors are available to support you with any aspect of your coaching, whether you are unsure about your delivery, or want advice and support in gearing up for your Level 2 or UEFA B course.

 In 2017/18 the FA Coach Mentor Programme supported over 10000 grassroots coaches across 570+ clubs. 99% of clubs reported an improved player experience after working with an FA Coach Mentor and 68% of coaches felt their motivation had greatly increased as a result. This is a great opportunity for coaches to benefit from!

Meet the Mentors

We are lucky enough to have two fantastic FA Coach Mentors working in Herefordshire, each with different backgrounds and a vast amount of coaching experience in all areas of the game. Between them our coach mentors will be able to provide tailored support to coaches and clubs, no matter what stage of their coaching development. Below our mentors introduce themselves so if you are interested in receiving mentoring and would like to take advantage of our mentors knowledge, read on and get in touch!


Darren Braithwaite

Qualifications: UEFA B Football & Futsal Coach with Youth Award

Hi, I’m Darren one of the two Coach Mentors working with Herefordshire FA to support their clubs and coaches! I have 20 years’ worth of coaching experience as well as working as a PE Teacher and Learning Manager.

I undertook my level 1 football qualification as part of a course at Sixth form College soon after leaving school. I then undertook my Level 2 whilst coaching and playing for University of Wales, Swansea First football team. During which time, I also gained invaluable experience coaching for a company called Soccer Academy in the United States. I undertook a PGCE in PE Teaching in 2003-2004 and took the school U13 and U18 team on as part of my first teaching job the year after. 

Since moving back to Hereford in 2007, I have taught and coached football to 12- 16 year old players at Whitecross Hereford High School and, in 2012 I started up the youth section of Hereford Futsal Club, which has now progressed in to two parts, Hereford Futsal Club and Futsal Futures. I currently coach football and futsal to Minis (2-4 year olds - that's a new challenge!), U10, U11, U12, and U14 players.

I have worked with players from as young as 2 straight through to U18 and adult football and am able to support with both football and futsal coaching.


Phone: 07894138282


Tom Mason

Qualifications: FA Level 2 (Currently taking UEFA B) with Youth Award

Tom is also a Coach Mentor working in Herefordshire and available to help you or coaches within your club! Tom has held various roles within Football, currently working for PACES having previously worked for the Football Association as an FA Skills coach and completing an apprenticeship with the Herefordshire FA. During this time he has built up a large amount of coaching experience working with a variety of age groups, with particular experience and knowledge of players and coaching in the foundation phase (ages 5-11)

Tom has completed a number of qualifications with the FA including his FA Level 2 & Youth Award and looks forward to completing his UEFA B whilst also being qualified to deliver Dodgeball and Multi Skills.

He enjoys Mentoring as it allows him to support others by sharing his knowledge and experience that he has gained from his own mentors.


Phone: 07528 888898


If you would prefer to register your interest in Coach Mentoring and for us to contact you, please fill out this short form!

Register your Interest


No. The FA Coach Mentor programme is a free FA initiative where a Coach Mentor can offer up to 100 hours of support per season.

Mentoring support at a club could include:

  • Developing a whole club philosophy
  • Group coaching demonstrations
  • 1:1 coaching, match-day observation and support
  • Signposting to relevant courses and events
  • Needs analysis for individual coaches
  • Modelling of coaching sessions for individual coaches
  • Individual feedback
  • An individual learning programme

Clubs that are keen to develop a positive coaching ethos, philosophy and develop their own in-house mentoring/coach support system.

Coaches can utilise this opportunity to start a legacy of positive coaching within their own clubs.

The FA Coach Mentor Programme is also committed to providing 5000 hours per season specifically to work with BAME, female and disabled coaches across the country.

If you are a BAME coach or working with BAME coaches/players and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Steve Smithies with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to –

If you are a female coach or working with female coaches/players and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Samantha Griffiths with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to –

If you are a coach with a disability and would like some support from one of our Coach Mentors, please contact Kevin England with your name, club name, age group and the County FA that you are affiliated to

If you are interested in becoming an FA Coach Mentor please check our website for vacancies. If no vacancies are available contact the Regional Coach Mentor Officer in your region who can provide an update of the programme in and around your area.

Please note that there two application periods throughout the season - June and December.

Pre-requisites to become an FA Coach Mentor are:

  • Minimum FA Level 2 in Coaching Football
  • Member of The FA Licensed Coaches Club
  • Valid FA Criminal Record Check

North West – Steve Smithies –

North East – Graeme Carrick –

East Midlands – Samantha Griffiths –

West Midlands – Andy Somers –

East – Darren Moss –

South East – Kevin England –

London/ Armed Forces/ Jersey/ Guernsey – Kevin Green –

South West – Ciara Allan –

Get In Touch

Tor receive support from The FA Coach Mentor programme, please contact 01432 342179

When making initial contact please include your name, club name, number of teams and County FA affiliated to.

The FA Coaching Bursary

An inclusive initiative designed to support more coaches from under-represented communities with a financial contribution to progress on their coaching pathways

The FA Coaching Bursary

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