Ex PPP coaches, including legendary Spireite, set up ‘Player First’ school

ALFRETON QTS Sunday League round-up.
ALFRETON QTS Sunday League round-up.

A group of coaches who left a football school linked to Chesterfield FC have struck out on their own.

Player First Football Coaching has been set up by five men who all previously worked for Chesterfield FC Player Progression Pathway, a football school owned by the Spireites’ CEO Chris Turner and former non-league footballer Liam Sutcliffe.

The group includes James Whitfield, Nev Hunt and Ash Barber who quit the PPP over unpaid and delayed wages, former Spireite Sean O’Neill and Stephen Hancock – who was head of academy recruitment at Chesterfield FC as well as a manager at the PPP.

Whitfield, Hunt and Barber were criticised by Turner in a statement released on the club’s website last week.

He alleged they had timed their exit from the PPP to damage the football school.

But both Hunt and Whitfield hit back, telling the Derbyshire Times they had left because they were not paid on time.

Hunt said: “Our idea to start up Player First FC came about after support from parents, saddened to hear about the way we had been treated, and themselves fed up.”

Barber, O’Neill and Hancock have not spoken publicly about the reasons for their departure from the PPP.

As a new organisation, their first sessions, at Brampton Rovers AFC, take place on 7th June.

Under 8s to U12s will train from 6 to 7.30pm, with U13s to U 16s 7.30pm to 9pm.

All five coaches hold between Level 2 and UEFA A Licenses, and they’ve been backed by sponsors The Granite and Marble Factory and Docherty Scaffolding.

Player First will offer grassroots coaching sessions and one-to-one training.

A spokesman revealed they will also work with local club Espial FC.

He said: “We have this week agreed a link up with Espial FC working alongside 2B Sports Coaching to help withtheir trials in June as well as coaching with them throughout the 2016/17 season and hopefully formany seasons to come.

“We look forward to working closely with 2B Sports Coaching and Espial FC todevelop the players of Espial FC, helping them to progress in their footballing futures.”

Visit PlayerFirstFC on Facebook, email enquiries@PlayerFirstFC.co.uk or call 07969 440017 for information.