Leah White, 18, is one of the most impressive players to come through the ranks at Forfar Farmington over the last 15 years. Since joining the club at 5 years old, Leah has excelled through the age groups collecting individual accolades such as Players Player of the Year, Clubwoman of the Year, the club’s Community Award and in 2017, the Scottish Women’s Premier League sides Young Player of the Year award. Despite her successes on the pitch, Leah has never been one to shy away from giving back to the club and at 14 years old, she began coaching with the under 9’s within the clubs junior squads. Leah instantly demonstrated her coaching credentials and established herself as a firm favourite amongst her new players. In 2018, Leah completed her level 2 Children’s Award and later this year she will further add to her knowledge as she goes through the ‘C’ License. Ahead of the 2019 youth season restarting, we caught up with Leah to talk through all things coaching.
“I started playing football for Farmington when I was 5 years old. I trained on Tuesdays and played matches on Saturdays and I remember these two days being may favourite two days of the week because I had football. Remembering back to how excited I felt about going to football and how much my first coach Jane Luckhurst made me love the game, I was interested in doing the same for other young children, so I started coaching at Farmington and this is where I discovered my passion for teaching others.”
“I think my experiences as a player have helped me whilst coaching as I think I have more knowledge of the game allowing me to create small game like situations to help teach the girls how to deal with certain situations as and when they arise in a game. I think having played since I was so young, I remember when I was at under 9 level and how much fun and enjoyment I got out of training sessions so remembering back to how much I enjoyed it I like to recreate that enjoyment for other children and often play games and do drills I remember doing when I was young.”
“The under 9’s programme is unique in comparison to other age groups at Farmington as all the girls are just starting out and want to have fun playing with their friends. The girls are only young and enjoy cartwheeling around the pitch it’s a challenge to ensure you play exciting games that keep their attention, but it’s a challenge I enjoy.”
“I plan the sessions for the under 9’s before attending the sessions. I plan a basic, fun warm up game for the girls such as tig, before we progress onto a themed session such as passing or dribbling. I make sure the games are fun and engaging to ensure the girls are enjoying themselves and continue to come back to the sessions. We always finish the session by having a match to allow the girls to practice what they have learned.”
“The club have been very supportive in terms of helping with the under 9’s programme, by making sure there are always coaches available for the session and there is always good quality equipment. They have helped me in my own coaching development by helping pay towards my coaching courses and allowing me to practice sessions for coaching course assessments with different teams which really benefits my coaching development and I really appreciate all the support the club has given me.”
“Compared to when I started coaching about 4 or 5 years ago, the under 9’s at Farmington has become more popular with new girls interested in joining every week. It is a great environment for the girls to start football and learn new skills and over the years it is becoming more and more popular. We now also have an under 9’s Lisa Evans session on a Saturday morning which was started at the end of 2017, which I also coach. Seeing the girls improve over the course of the last few years is great to watch and encourages me to continue working hard to help their development.”
“My future hopes in coaching are to gain my C License in summer this year, and then go on to gain more coaching experience. I am coaching the new under 11’s team his year so hopefully I will be able to use my coaching experience to give them the best possible start to their games.”
The club are delighted to have Leah involved with the club and thank her for all her time she gives to us. We wish Leah all the best for 2019 as she tackles the SWPL 1, coaching the under 11’s, and her ‘C’ License throughout the year!