Football: Professional Coaching with Ex-Pupil, Dan Harding

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Ex-pupil and professional footballer, Dan Harding, visited Bede's Prep School and gave some invaluable coaching sessions to our players.

Dan was first scouted at the Prep School, aged 12, and was signed to the Brighton and Hove Albion youth scheme by the age of 16. During an illustrious career, he has played for Leeds United, Ispwich, Southampton, Millwall and Nottingham Forest.

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Dan contacted Chris Atherton with the aim of giving something back to his old School. He offered to coach the junior and senior players, and then hosted a gruelling Q&A Assembly.

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The children took no prisoners, firing some inspired and well-thought out questions. Dan handled them skilfully and spread an important message: that even the most elite professionals need a good education.

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Mr Atherton said ‘With Dan playing left-back for most of his career we were keen for him to impart some of his expertise and deliver a short session on defending, which he did for both the Junior and Senior sessions."

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"After a simple warm up, Dan set up a drill which involved defenders firstly closing down the space quickly, and then he looked at the body position and how a defender could try and encourage the player with the ball to dribble into a particular area, whether that be towards other defenders or away from the goal."

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"A ‘points system’ rewarding successful defending was introduced and great fun was had by all."