Berwick captain Jonny Fairbairn receives a cheque from Supporters Trust chairman Michael Smyth towards his UEFA B licence course ( Photo by Steven Scott )
Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust has made a contribution of £500 towards the cost of first team captain Jonny Fairbairn’s UEFA B licence coaching course which he recently undertook at the University of St. Andrews.
Jonny was one of 80 on the Scottish F.A.-run course which drew participants from England, Canada, Greece, Portugal, Romania and South Africa as well as Scotland. Amongst them was Charlie Adam ( ex-Rangers, Blackpool and Liverpool and now with Stoke City ) and Republic of Ireland internationals Simon Cox and Noel Hunt.
Jonny’s group listens carefully to sport scientist Brian Ewing ( with back to camera )
The course lasted nine days but Jonny stayed on an extra couple to help out as a ‘runner’ during Jonathan Craig’s assessment. This saw him acting as a central defender for Berwick’s goalkeeping coach as he showed how he would organise a team to defend in the final third of the field. At this time next year, Jonny hopes to take the final assessment himself to gain his own licence. Before then, there are nine written assessments over the course of twelve months.
Jonny said the coaching course was very inspiring and has given him confidence to make a career in the game when he has finished playing. It included various presentations on themes such as leadership, women’s football and rules of the game ( including the new kick off rule by which the ball can now be played in any direction ). Arbroath boss Dick Campbell gave one on ‘Management’. Jonny was particularly impressed by sport scientist Brian Ewing who talked about nutrition and demonstrated an intense workout typical of an elite club.
Plan for a coaching session given by Berwick’s captain
Having recently signed a new two year contract with Berwick, he is working with manager John Coughlin to improve opportunities for promising young local players in the hope of seeing more follow in his footsteps by playing for their local League club. Up to now, he has helped Matty Moor on his popular school holiday coaching courses for youngsters held on either Old Shielfield or at Longridge Towers School. It was this commitment to local football and to the club which persuaded the Trust Board to offset some of the £1380 fee for attending the course. The Milfield-based player is very appreciative of the Trust’s support. As for the forthcoming season, he is looking forward to it and believes new signings have helped give the squad a greater physical presence. ‘’I want us to carry on last season’s post Christmas form,’’ he said.