Blues Delegation To Take Part In US Coaching Convention

A delegation from Everton Football Club will attend and deliver key presentations at the prestigious United Soccer Coaches Convention in Kansas City, Missouri this week.

A seven-strong Everton party flew out on Wednesday for the convention, which is the largest gathering of soccer coaches in the world.

The annual event primarily focused on providing delegates with an education forum for improving techniques on and off-the-field, will allow Club representatives the opportunity to showcase many different areas of their coaching programme - from the men and women’s first teams, the Club’s renowned Academy, as well as the thriving Everton International Academy and Soccer Schools programmes.

The conference, which supports Everton’s wider international strategy, will further boost the Club’s growing profile in the USA and provides staff and coaches with an opportunity to share knowledge and engage with representatives and contacts from soccer clubs and organisations from varying levels of the US game.

Leading the delegation will be Head of Performance Analysis Tom Gardner, International Academy Technical Lead Paddy Byrne and Academy coach James Olsen. They will take part in lectures, panel discussions and deliver on-field coaching sessions as part of the Club’s involvement. They will be joined by fellow coaches and members of the Club’s International team.

Tom Gardner, who oversees Performance Analysis across all levels at the Club, said: “I first became involved with United Soccer Coaches as part of their Performance Analysis Education Courses during our successful pre-season Florida Cup visit to Orlando last summer. Since then I’ve kept in touch with USC and really enjoyed learning more about how they run education in performance analysis.

“I’m really looking forward to presenting at the convention on how we look at analysis at Everton across our age groups and more widely here in the UK, as well as being involved in wider discussions around analysis education and the industry as a whole.”

The conference will also bring together some of the coaches from Everton’s International Affiliate programme, a network of junior football clubs from across the globe who are supported with year-round technical and operational backing directly from the Club, as well as coaches from Everton’s Soccer Schools programme which successfully launched in the US in 2021.

The Club’s Soccer Schools programme in North America was delivered across more than 15 US states last summer giving young people of varying ages and abilities the opportunity to develop their skills using the techniques and methods used at Everton’s training ground.

Paddy Byrne, who leads Everton’s International Academy coaching and Soccer Schools programmes said: “We are all really looking forward to visiting the US again and making a valuable contribution to this important conference on behalf of the Club.

“The conference is an exciting opportunity to showcase our global coaching programme, as well as networking with a whole host of clubs from different levels across America.

“Being on-the-ground also allows us to show how the coaching provided to youngsters in Soccer Schools and the affiliate members of the Club’s International Academy is of the same high quality that young players would get at our Category One elite level Academy at USM Finch Farm.

“2022 is going to be another exciting year of growth for us as we seek to expand our Soccer Schools Programme in the US to even more states. We see this as an important step in raising awareness of our intentions and the value of our programmes to the industry.”

Everton was the only English Premier League club to visit the USA during pre-season in summer 2021, participating in the Florida Cup. The Club hosted a number of Soccer Schools, which included a special appearance from Tim Howard, while also engaging in several fan events in Orlando for Blues that travelled from across North and South America.

The Club is currently exploring options to potentially return to the USA for pre-season later this year.