Former Liverpool and England footballer Stephen Warnock has described the experience of working with 7 Elite Academy players as a “real buzz” as he takes the first steps towards coaching career.
Warnock, who also played for Aston Villa, Blackburn and Leeds during a 16-year senior career, was talking to 7 Elite Academy Technical Director Anthony Godfrey as part of the organisation's Online Masterclass.
7 Elite Academy, which runs teams in the United States, United Kingdom and Africa, has developed a comprehensive program of online coaching and development classes to help players during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Midfielder Warnock held series of coaching clinics with 7 Elite Academy players in Liverpool and Utah last summer and was impressed with the players' work rate and commitment during the sessions.
He said: “I loved it from start to finish. Once I got onto the pitch I settled in really quick and found I enjoyed giving people bits of information to help them with things, and help them improve.
“The enthusiasm from the boys and girls, when they turned up to a session was great. They understood the time and effort behind the scenes, which was important as well.
“The facilities were perfect for what we were trying to achieve and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with 7 Elite Academy.”
Since retiring from senior football in 2018, Warnock has become a highly-rated media pundit, working across the world with Sky Sports, BBC and BT Sport.
But he still retains close links with the professional game and after his experience with 7 Elite Academy is keen to develop a coaching career.
He added: “I enjoyed working with the 7 Elite Academy players and training the various groups. I got a real buzz from it.
“I've got my B Licence and my A Licence is something that I'll look to do. I am keen to do it. I am learning Spanish, which will help me in the future for coaching, wherever that might be.
“It is definitely something I want to do. As much as I enjoy the media side of things at the moment, I am constantly watching teams, how they warm up and they do certain things, especially tactics.
“I don't just turn up and pick the microphone up. I try to study a team for a few games before I talk about them and understand what they're all about.”
7 Elite Academy Technical Director Anthony Godfrey is recording the sessions to give 7 Elite Academy players across the world an important insight into the professional game.
He said: “Having Stephen Warnock with us for our Online Masterclass is yet another fantastic benefit for our young people.
“Wil Trapp was a great first guest and Stephen has certainly followed in that spirit. He has a vast knowledge of top-flight football, both as a player and now as a member of the media.
“He talks about how he became a professional footballer at Liverpool, then as his career progressed his experience with England at the 2010 World Cup, where he played alongside Stephen Gerrard, Ashey Cole, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard.
“We are working so hard to provide our youngsters with a comprehensive education programme during the current restrictions. We want them to stay safe, but we also want them to be prepared for a return to training and playing.
“Through our weekly Home Technical Programs, online team meetings remote one-to-one sessions and now our Masterclasses, we are offering the kind of support that can only benefit them in the future.”