Chris Adams has recently been appointed as our Community Football Manager. Chris has gained an extensive amount of experience and knowledge throughout his career and is looking forward to working with the team to implement our Future Football Strategy.
Can you tell us about your background? What have been your previous roles?
Originally from Essex in England and have been in Australia now for 9 years here in Sydney and also in Western Australia. I started coaching when I was a teenager back in England and worked across different community programs and grassroots clubs. Grassroots football has always been a part of my life, my Dad was chairman of a local club and my mum was the club registration secretary so I was born into being around community grassroots football and would be at the club from morning till night.
When I moved to Australia I moved to Perth where I became Technical Director of an NPL club called Cockburn City Soccer Club where I ran the clubs youth programs and also the clubs Women’s football team. In WA I then started to get into community coach development as a course instructor for Football West which eventually lead to my first full time position in the game as MiniRoos Manager for WA. This role was great and allowed me the opportunity to travel all around WA from Perth to the many regional areas supporting MiniRoos football for players, coaches and the many volunteers in the game.
In 2017 I then moved to the East Coast to work for the Manly Warringah Football Association (MWFA) as their Coach Development Manager which saw me work with the member clubs to support their grassroots coaches and establish the CCC program on the Northern Beaches. I then moved onto work for Football New South Wales as Coach Development Manager supporting coaches of all levels from Grassroots through to C & B Licences on their coaching journey. I was also recently the Technical Director of the Liverpool International Academy in NSW with ACPE University here in Sydney helping to establish the program
How did you get involved with NSFA?
NSFA has always been an association I have held close ties with, Geographically there is the strong connection with MWFA and also on a personal level the relationship with Ed Ferguson was formed during our time as MiniRoos Managers for WA and NSW respectively. We both formed a strong working and personal friendship with our shared ambition of supporting the grassroots game and when Ed discussed with me the role of Community Football Manager recently it was a perfect fit for me to combine my passion for Grassroots Football with Ed and the rest of the team at NSFA who are one of the leaders here in Australia for community football.
What do you feel you can bring to NSFA that you learnt from your previous roles?
During my time in Australia I have seen the many layers of the game from Community association level through to State level and also regional football so I feel that I have seen and heard from many different people within the grassroots game from coaches to parents through to committee members so I understand the challenges that they sometimes face as community volunteers. From my experience of working with these different stakeholders I feel as if I can draw on many different solutions to these challenges and help them overcome these for the betterment of the player experience. My experience in Coach Development is something I am excited to continue at NSFA supporting Jake and whole Football Department to support coaches of all levels to improve the experience for them and their players.
What are your aspirations for this role? Is there anything specific we can look forward to seeing?
My aspirations are very much aligned to the NSFA Football & Strategic Plan around player retention. It is very refreshing to be joining an association that has player retention as its key strategic priority. Often sport gets too focused on growth and increases in participation rates that we forget about retaining our current players and ensuring that they have the best possible experience. So much goes into player retention such as coaching, club governance and facilities and I am extremely excited to help the whole of NSFA achieve its retention rates targets and ensure that people become lifelong participants of our game. For the XLR8 program I am very much looking forward to building on the successful foundations laid by my predecessors as we support the game within NSFA and become the best Grassroots Football Provider in Australia.
Can you share your favourite footballing memory?
Without doubt my two coaching trips to Gambia in West Africa in 2010 and 2012. The grassroots club in England I was involved with Maldon Saints for many years sent a team of coaches over to Gambia to coach local schools, villages and teams as well as provide them with much needed football and educational resources. This trip really showed me how universal Football is and the impact that the game can have on so many people.