Meet Our U8's Coach James Burke

Profession: Agile Delivery Coach


Position(s) Held for the Club: Assistant Coach, Under 8's Oranges


Length of Time in Position: 1 year


What do you enjoy most / least about the role you play for the club?: 

I most enjoy seeing one of our players get the ball in a match and be brave with it; not panicking and booting the ball away or out of play. I love it when a young player gets the ball down and tries to play, whether it is a dribble, a pass or a shot. Seeing them have the confidence to try something is a great source of enjoyment.

I least enjoy seeing oppostition coaches or parents who think that under 8's football is all about winning and that the score is the important thing. Player development and enjoyment is wroth so much more to me.


Coaching Qualification: FA Level 1 qualification


Why did you join Thurlby Tigers FC? Both my sons have been interested in football for a long while and came to the club to play (Academy and U7's) after getting fliyers from their local school. The club made them both very welcome and I was encouraged by how the coaches interacted with the players - their approaches matched my ethos. I started by being a ball boy in their trainign sessions, then graduated to putting the cones out and am now a qualified coach! 


How long have you been associated to and volunteering for the club? 18 months.


What is your favourite Tigers memory? I like it when things that we work on in training or that we talk about in the team talk play out in  match as we want them to. A great example is when one of our players who is a very attentive listener was in a position on the field to press the opposition full back. He won the ball high up the field and with one touch he controlled the ball,  his second fired the bal linto the roof of the net. I think I celebrated it more than him :)


What Professional Team do you Support? Leeds United


Who did / do you play football for? Churwell Lions (in Leeds), Loughborough University


Biggest game you've ever played in or coached? As I'm new to coaching, I'll say the biggest game I played in was the Don Revie Cup semi final in Leeds. We lost on penalties in the replay. I missed the vital kick. Lets just say it was charachter building...


Coaching or Playing? And Why? Playing. I still enjoy playing with the other coaches on a Thursday night. Nothing matches the feeling of being part of a team on the field, though it is hugely satisfying to be a coach (when the boys listen).


Who is/was your footballing hero? David Batty. He was born in Leeds, played for Leeds United, won the title at Leeds and played for England in a World Cup. He lived my dream.  (He also missed an important penalty...)


What three things would you take on a desert island and why? A football, a fishing net and a hammock