How the Premier League supports joining training

All Premier League matches from 6 to 15 April will be zero-racist, raise awareness of discrimination and celebrate diversity across the sport, promoting talent from all communities, particularly under-represented groups of background and women.

See: Progress Notice on the No Place for Racism Action Plan

Content in training

Launched in 2020/21, the Coach Inclusion Diversity Scheme (CIDS) is a Premier League programme. Number of black, Asian and mixed heritage practitioners, male and female, from a variety of backgrounds in full-time coaching positions in English professional football.

CIDS participants participate in a 23-month program with a Premier League or Category One club.

Providing a player path

Running alongside CIDS, the Professional Player to Coach Scheme (PPCS) aims to increase the number of black, Asian and mixed heritage players, both male and female, transitioning into full-time coaching roles in professional sport.

PPCS is a joint initiative between the Premier League, the Professional Footballers' Association charity (PFAC) and the EFL. It is open to all Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) members at any age or stage in their career.

It provides six coaches per season with a 23-month intensive placement at EFL clubs and is jointly funded by the Premier League and the PFA, with each participant receiving benefits from the placement club.

Impact of training programs on PL

– 56 (88 per cent) of the 63 coaches who progressed through the Premier League's inclusive coaching schemes PPCS or the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme (CIDS) are employed full-time at clubs.
– All 25 coaches supported by PPCS work as coaches in English professional football.
– Of the 38 coaches supported by CIDS, 31 work in men's English football, one in the Women's Super League and two overseas.
– 45 clubs across the Premier League and EFL are involved with PPCS or CIDS.
– 361 coaches are registered Trainer code (Self-registration system for coaches from under-represented groups), 72 clubs have registered to use the platform when recruiting.

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Lionel Jagba (Everton)

Jagba is an example of how a trainer has found success with the support of CIDS.

He is the lead coach for Everton Under-10s and also supports other age groups. Released from Liverpool Academy at the age of 19, Xaba worked at a number of schools before applying to CIDS.

„I'm really focused on coaching right now,” Jagba says. „I want to continue to learn, grow and develop. Many of today's best coaches don't make it as professional players, so there is plenty of inspiration. It will take dedication and sacrifice, but my aim is to go as far as my abilities allow in the world of coaching.

„To work at the grassroots level, you have to have a certain energy and patience. It helps that I have a nine-year-old at home, so I can relate to them and have that empathy. They're so young, these kids need to know that you care about them. The tools to go out and express themselves. I want to give them.

“Working in schools has helped me understand how to deal with this age group.

“In my journey, I feel like every step has guided me and helped put me where I am at this moment.

„But I'm really focused on coaching now. I want to keep learning, growing and growing. There's a lot of inspiration because a lot of the best coaches today don't make it as professional players.

„It takes dedication and sacrifice, but my aim is to go as far as the coaching world allows.”

Kyle Brooks-Lynch (Brighton)

Brooks-Lynch is the Under-16 Assistant Head Coach at Brighton & Hove Albion. In April 2021, Brooks-Lynch was busy juggling four different roles in football and education, trying to play a full-time role in academy football.

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After the Covid lockdown ended, he saw an opportunity online that would change everything – the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Program. Since then, Brooks-Lynch has progressed and grown in his role at Brighton.

Kylern Brooks-Lynch

“It was very surreal because I got the chance to work on it [CIDS] The program was perfect for my education,” he says. „I got to work for three months with people of every age, feel the whole environment, work with many great coaches – and outside of that I also get new qualifications and amazing experiences.

“It was the break I was longing for, a flash, and I started it right away.

“This is a very important year for all academy players so it is great to be rewarded for this work. The confidence the club has shown in me means I'm doing something right.

“I was fortunate to work with these boys as young as 14 during my placement. Joining them in the middle of a season wasn't ideal, but we knew each other already so I could hit the ground running. It's a very enjoyable role.”

Courtney Pitt (Wolves)

Former Cambridge United and Portsmouth defender Pitt coaches at Wolverhampton Wanderers' academy and is part of a new generation of Black coaches who are turning the touchlines into representatives of the modern game.

Pitt became one of the first graduates from Pilot PPCS and later took up a role at Molineux. His first taste of coaching came by accident, helping a friend coach an amateur team.

After getting the bug to help develop the next generation, he became a PE teacher before starting a scouting career at Burton Albion, where he eventually moved into performance coaching.

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Fast forward to 2024 and Pitt is coaching Wolves' U11/U12 squad with a view to producing the next wave of Premier League talent.

Courtney Pitt WOL

“I wouldn't be in business without PPCS,” he says. „They helped me join a professional club and that was a big step for me.

“They are [PPCS] Not only gave me the instruction I needed and how I could improve my coaching craft, but also my personal growth and my character.

“I was in it [PPCS] Pilot But Benjani and Riccardo Buller have both done the project and now both are working with top clubs.

„We all played at Portsmouth. But when you think about it, it shows how competitive football is!”

Regarding his future coaching aspirations, Pitt says, „I want these young guys to remember me. I saw a bunch of guys I coached recently and they all congratulated me and gave me high fives. That's it. If I look at the players in 10 years, they'll pass me. I hope they don't go.

„I want to leave a lasting impression and help create great characters. I want them to continue to play and have great lives, but I do it because of the personal connection and making a real impact on someone's life journey.”

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