It’s a time of year when members of the Rovers management team have been in the news, rather than the players.
This weeks’ news that manager Darrell Clarke had signed a new five-year contract was preceded by assistant manager Marcus Stewart gaining his FA UEFA Pro Licence and we congratulate Marcus on his success.
A total of 25 candidates from the across the game including former England internationals Robbie Fowler and Marianne Spacey, completed the prestigious 18 month long award - the highest attainable football management qualification - with a graduation ceremony at St.George’s Park.
Those who graduated alongside Marcus were; Craig Short, Darren Way, Steve Spooner, Benjamin Futcher, Gareth Jennings, Michael Cook, Michael Gilkes, Garry Haylock, Kieran McKenna, Robbie Fowler, Scott Marshall, Stephen Gallen, Ashley Westwood, Kevin Nancekivell, Marcus Stewart, Nicholas Haycock, Gary Bowyer, Marc Canham, Michael Emenalo, Neil Harris, David Livermore, Gary Rowett, Joe Edwards, Marieanne Spacey, Steve Eyre.
Marcus said that he was delighted to have gained the qualification; “It has involved a great deal of hard work over the last 18 months and there were times when it was difficult to combine my studies with the demands of my job.
“However everyone else was in the same position and we were all determined to achieve our aim of gaining the Pro Licence qualification.
“In spite of the demands of the course, the chance to meet other coaches and managers who were on the course was enlightening and gave us all a fantastic opportunity to share thoughts and ideas.
“Meeting with, and studying alongside, people who are in the same profession was a key element as far as I am concerned as we were able to discuss different approaches to problems from player recruitment to managing budgets.”
Jamie Robinson, The FA's head of professional game coach development and its Pro Licence course director, said; “Both the variety of experience and common leadership challenges that the candidates can share from their day to day lives at different football clubs is something that we build the course around.”
The Pro Licence course includes a number of learning modules based at St.George’s Park covering leadership, management, communication and dealing with the media as well as a study visit to an international tournament. Each learning experience is tailored to the needs of the individual and the context in which they work.