Duncan revels in Paris experience

Duncan Fearnhead
Duncan Fearnhead

WHALLEY-based football coach Duncan Fearnhead has been invited back to Paris St Germain next summer, after spending time with the French giants at their Academy camp at Marcoussis, based at the France National Rugby Centre.

The 24-year-old spent two-and-a-half weeks with Les Rouge-et-Bleu, working with players aged from Under-12s to Under-17s.

Each morning followed roughly the same pattern – starting with strength and conditioning sessions, followed by technical work, with afternoons filled by game-related drills and tactical work.

Fearnhead, who has worked for Blackburn Rovers as a development coach, as fitness coach at Radcliffe Borough and head of development with Preston North End women’s team, was in charge as lead coach, and on occassion assisting another coach, having been given a guideline session topic, such as crossing and finishing, and then being allowed to set it up and run it however he wanted.

The UEFA C-licenced coach has always preferred continental possession-based football, and contacted clubs in Spain, France and Holland asking if he could see how they develop players.

FC Twente, PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid all contacted him saying they would allow him to spend time at their clubs, observing coaching sessions, and to speak with the coaches, while PSG offered him a more hands-on role.

He said: “It was a fantastic experience, allowing me to work with players from a different culture and see how coaches in France go about doing things in comparison to here in England, as it’s always important to learn from a variety of sources.

“I have been asked if I would like to return to Paris next summer to work for the club again, which is pleasing.

“But I am keeping my options open as I’m not sure what my commitments will be by then.

“I will continue to work with young players including with my new Under-Eights team, Elite Technique, aiming to begin the new age-specific UEFA A licence in 2012.

“I am also working on another strength and conditioning qualification with the intention of getting back working in semi-pro football, similar to the role I held at Radcliffe.”

Fearnhead, who also runs the Blackburn town team Under-13s, and runs his own coaching courses and after school clubs as Elite Technique, is also setting up a new Under-Six/Sevens team with Elite for next season, with training set to begin in January.

Anyone wishing to contact Duncan about coaching courses and Elite Technique, should visit elitetechnique@live.co.uk, or telephone him on 07701 035599.