By Jessica Pigram and Jilyn Seah, Activities Department, East Campus.
Ashleigh Hopkins is a Lead International Coach for Chelsea FC who works closely with UWCSEA East to provide quality football training to students in the community.
How long have you been involved in your sport / activity?
I’ve been involved in Professional Football since the age of 16 and have spent most of my Football Career as a Coach, working in several Academy’s across England and Wales. (Ranging from Category 1 to Category 3).
I’ve also coached in the following countries : Spain, Germany, Australia, Argentina, USA, jamaica, Denmark and Thailand.
Did you play or represent in your sport/activity? To what level?
I played for lots of teams as a youngster such as: Coventry City FC, Crystal Palace, Everton FC, Swansea City FC, Plymouth Argyle FC, County Team, Wales Representative Teams, Hereford United FC, Aberystwyth Town FC (Welsh Premiership/League of Wales). Plus many teams in the Welsh Football League.
What was your training schedule like? Did you practice every day?
Full Time Training would be every day, depending on fixtures. And normally started around 10:00am.
Part Time Academy Training sessions would also be in the evening, and normally three times per week, with games on the weekend.
Why are you interested in this activity?
Football is the best Team Sport
What is your current title and how long have you held this title?
Lead International Coach - Chelsea Football Club - 6 Months
What are your 3 greatest successes to date?
My Children, and watching them play football
My UEFA A Licence (Advanced Coaching Diploma)
Gaining Qualifications: BSc Applied Sports & Exercise Science, PGCE Further Education, MA PDET (Masters) Professional Development Education and Training.
What is most satisfying about your work right now?
Working with a great team of Chelsea FC coaches, and sharing knowledge
What is the best advice you have ever received? What advice would you give to our students?
Always be a 24 - 7 Pro (On and Off the field)
Can you give us three words that best describe how you feel about your profession?
Who is the icon that has influenced you the most?
Kevin Rafcliffe (Welsh Defender, Everton FC Captain)