People First, Player Second

With Matt Craddock


Can you tell us about your journey in sport as a child?
As a child, I played all the sports. I was okay in school, but I played everything. In terms of football, I was born in August so I could actually play in two age groups – which was brilliant because I would play on Saturday and Sunday.

I played in a Centre of Excellence until the age of 16, but nothing came of it so I went to college, and they had a football academy – which was the second-best thing for me which was really good because I was able to train everyday.

At the end of college, that was it. I didn’t really know what to do. There wasn’t anything happening football wise that I could make a career out of so I went to university in Leeds to study Sports Science and Physiology. It gave me some time to learn and experience different things and when I finished my degree, I decided that I wanted to be involved in coaching, preferably football – but that felt like a bit of a dream.

Anyway, I got myself a role with a local authority doing community sports coaching. This gave loads of experience in a variety of different areas and the boss I had at the time recognised that people were coming in who were ambitious and wanted to develop would hit a glass ceiling and have to move on. So, she provided pathways within coaching and essentially created roles that would be a progression for you. And each time you got yourself a new role, you were given a bit more responsibility.

She was really good with things like that and it kept me there for five years and I got my UEFA B License while I was there too, which then opened the door to coaching within a Centre of Excellence. I was then offered a role with The FA and following that, moved into my role now at Preston North End.

For FULL access to this article and all of our content, join our community for FREE!

Please login or subscribe to keep reading!