Andy Reid on his role at Nottingham Forest and helping develop Newark's You Can Do Sport cohort
Andy Reid has committed his long-term future to coaching Nottingham Forest’s under-23 side — and hopes to use his experience with the club to help oversee the development of youngsters in and around Newark.
Since the permanent appointment at Forest, Reid has left his part-time role as head coach of Republic of Ireland under-18s, but the 38-year-old will continue to contribute to the Magnus-based You Can Do Sport programme in Newark.
Reid, who knows all about what it takes to become a first team player at the City Ground having come through the academy set-up himself, was appointed as head coach in January after a successful interim period following the departure of Chris Cohen in September.
“When I initially came back to the club I worked with Chris (Cohen) who is a good friend of mine, and that was obviously a big pull for me,” said Reid.
“To also come in and work in an academy that I am very familiar with was great and when you look at the successes the academy has had over the last 20 years, I wanted to be apart of that day-in, day-out.
“When the opportunity came up to be involved again it was a no-brainier.”
The former Forest midfielder said his role was not only to provide a pathway to the first team, but also develop his players off the field.
“We are fully aware that not every player we have will make it into the first team here, and that is just the way football is unfortunately, but we do have a big responsibility to the fact that if they don’t make it here for one reason or another, that we give them the best opportunity to make it somewhere else,” said Reid.
“We want to give them a good football upbringing and we want to guide them in the best way we can, so if things don’t work out for them they know things aren’t over.
“There is a bigger vision at the club and that is what I get a real buzz from — seeing players develop and kick on, seeing them make strides in the first team or even when players leave here and they make their debuts for other teams, that is the most satisfying part of the job.”
The BTEC course is offered through Magnus Church of England Academy and is for those aged 16 to 19.
The You Can Do Sport programme is a two-year, full-time BTEC level three Extended Diploma in Sport, equivalent to three A-levels, alongside professional football coaching.
The coaching team is made up of Paul Hart, Gary Charles, Ian McParland, Lee Esam and, when possible, Reid.
“It was a great thing (to be asked) to be involved in,” he said.
“To get out and give local kids in the Newark area the opportunity to see what it is like to train everyday, and to almost see what it is like to work as a professional.
“What we have found off the back of it, which, for me, is the most important thing, is that they have found different avenues within sport.
“Some have gone on to study PE, some have gone into sports science, and some have gone down the coaching route. It offers so many options.”
Reid has been involved in the set-up for more than three years.
He said the next goal for the programme was an improved uptake in females, which has been boosted by YCDS’s partnership with Nottingham Forest Community Trust.
“The female side of the game is growing and if there are young ladies who might be unsure, or who think it might be male dominated, then they shouldn’t be fearful of that,” said Reid.
“Everybody has a very open mind and wants to work with the ladies as well as the boys. It is a very good chance for them to progress in the game.
“We have top-class facilities and there are some professional football clubs that can’t match the facilities that we can make use of at the YMCA.
“When these young people come in, they leave not only as better footballers but, more importantly, they leave as better people.”