Tell us a little about Football Escapes??
Bobby Zamora: So it’s something that Sam Hubert and Tom Scott (Directors of Football Escapes), Rio Ferdinand and I setup to basically work with great hotels around the world such as Jumeirah. We add extra value to the venues.
Some people call it a kid’s club but it’s a big step up from that – especially with the coaching. All of the coaches have their UEFA A license and deliver high quality courses.
It’s a fantastic opportunity for kids to come and train with the likes of Joe (Cole), Rio, (Dimitar) Berbatov, (Eidur) Gudjohnsen…
BZ: Yep, myself. We’re growing, too. The families love it and we’re really pleased with the way Football Escapes is going.
And this is your first involvement with it, Joe?
Joe Cole: Yeah, this is the first time I’ve been part of it. I’ve known Bobby for many years and I heard about him doing this. My kids are here and joining in with the sessions and they love it, too.
As Bobby says, it’s much more than a kid’s club. The players get academy level coaching. And they certainly get something from taking part and learn about football along the way, too.
BZ: One of the things we tell the parents is ‘go off and enjoy yourselves, we’ll look after the kids during the sessions – they’re going to have fun. But you can see around the pitch, the parents all want to stay and watch.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to play with Joe, which is immense for the kids.
How has coaching changed since you guys were starting out?
JC: Coaching has moved on, that’s for sure. The attention to detail now is amazing.
The game just doesn’t stand still anymore, so when the kids are out on the pitch every minute detail is pre-planned. And that’s what the players at Football Escapes get to experience.
Overall, I feel the level of coaching in the English game especially has gone up to a new heights.
Was there a pivotal moment that led to this change?
BZ: Not really, it’s just been gradually shifting this way over time. The digital age is here and the coaches at these academies have their iPads loaded up with everything they need.
It’s actually mind-blowing to think about how advanced the coaching has become since we were playing. I don’t even think the coaches had a plan when we were coming up. But then, I wouldn’t really know, as I wasn’t paying much attention as a kid!