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Ebbsfleet United manager Danny Searle on learning as a coach and staying consistent with your methods whatever the result

Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle insists the best coaches will learn from people at all levels of the game.

The Fleet boss was a guest speaker at the second Kent FA Coaches Conference last Thursday, where he spoke eloquently about his experiences in the game.

Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle says there’s a fountain of knowledge at all levels of the game Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC
Ebbsfleet manager Danny Searle says there’s a fountain of knowledge at all levels of the game Picture: Ed Miller/EUFC

It brought together coaches from a range of levels in the professional game, from academy football through to former Brentford and Rangers boss Mark Warburton.

Searle felt there was something to learn for anyone in the room - if they wanted to.

“I’m sure if I sat with Mark for a couple of hours, his coaching knowledge would help me with where I am in my career,” said Searle.

“I spoke about being open-minded in my presentation. Sometimes there’s an ego and a snobbery in football where if you back yourself as a coach, you go to these events and you’re almost there waiting to criticise people, wanting to criticise them.

“But actually, when you open your ears, and take in the information, there’s gold dust everywhere you look.

“There will be people who said stuff that don’t work anywhere near the realm of football that I work in, for whatever reason, but I can still take something from them and how they approach their sessions. That would be my message to anybody in any industry, to be fair.”

Searle admitted that while results make it easier to implement an individual’s style of coaching, the key is consistency in your methods.

“If you’re winning there’s a natural buzz around the place anyway,” added the Fleet boss.

“I think the type of sessions you put on can help you if you’re not winning. Mark Warburton said it quite well, you have to be consistent and we spoke about it quite a few times after games this season.

“There has to be a consistency with us, we have to be solid and the players have to trust that we’re confident in what we’re doing.

“Players aren’t stupid, they can see through fakeness and the fortunate thing for us is they could see we were onto something.”

One of the keys for Searle was -and remains - self-improvement. He has added parts to his managerial repertoire through experiences in Ireland and the Czech Republic.

“It's very difficult to be authentic and stand in front of a player and talk about the desire you need to become a professional if you haven’t got the desire to improve yourself,” stated Searle.

“There were a few quotes on the night around egos and you can’t have it. I back myself as a coach but I also back myself to know I still need to keep improving and the minute that stops happening, I think you’re probably coming to the end of your career.

“It’s the same as players, if they lose that passion to turn up at training every day and put in the work, that’s your body and mind saying you’ve had enough now. The good thing about coaching is the career is a lot longer if you put the work in.”

The Kent FA course saw nearly 100 coaches gain an insight from speakers including Arsenal lead phase 12-14s coach Simon Copley and Georgie Van Dijk, an academy coach at Brentford.

“It’s great to have that many people in a room who, whatever level they are working at, just love what they do,” added Searle.

“You need to make sure you’re enjoying your sessions and the players enjoy their sessions, the detail obviously changes as they go through their development, but the bottom line is you’ve got to have a passion for it and a real desire to want to improve yourself because without that I don’t think you can improve players.”

Find out more about the Kent FA’s Coaches Club here

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