As the IHM Football Academy Manchester players bid adieu for a well-deserved Christmas hiatus, we sat down with Head of Football, Sam, to glean his insights on the first term at IHM Football Academy.

Sam expresses his elation with the term, highlighting the players’ unwavering focus and diligence on and off the pitch. At the onset of the year, Sam strategically appointed three senior players as captains—a move that proved immensely successful in fostering team cohesion and leadership. Sam remarks,

“Part of player development involves instilling responsibility and leadership. I’ve been particularly pleased with this aspect in the first term. Take Amir, for instance—he’s been with us for a couple of years, and assuming a captaincy role, he’s truly stepped up as a leader. The feedback from the players on sessions has been invaluable in shaping our plans and working cohesively as a group.”

The term has been a whirlwind of activities, both on and off the pitch. Off-field, the Manchester players have enjoyed a plethora of enrichment opportunities and learning seminars to enhance their career prospects, contributing to the development of their portfolios. Sessions on CV development with football consultant Mick Brennan, a presentation by Soccer Assist on USA opportunities, and a coaching session from ex-Manchester United coach Mike Phelan capped off the term. Sam reflects on the off-field sessions, stating,

“The players have embraced these sessions, and the impact is evident. They’re actively building their CVs and seek assistance. Ending the term with Mike Phelan was a remarkable experience—being coached by someone of his calibre is truly enriching.”

On the pitch, the Manchester lads have shone brightly, competing in the inaugural season of the Friday college league, chosen for its high-quality opposition. Sam aimed to challenge the new intake by exposing them to better teams, resulting in significant player development. Currently occupying the third position in a competitive league, the IHM Manchester boys have showcased impressive performances and positive results, affirming the success of the league switch.

Sam highlights standout moments, such as the 5-0 victory against Pro Elite, not just for the result but for the outstanding team performance. Another noteworthy moment is Arsha receiving the Player of the Month award—an inspiring journey of determination and hard work.

The players now enjoy a well-deserved break before an exciting Term 2, commencing with a game in January. With additional seminars and outings to non-league games planned, the upcoming term promises more action and growth. If you aspire to develop your football skills in the UK and wish to join us in Manchester in 2024, contact the team for details on becoming an IH Manchester player.

For the complete interview with Sam, check out our IHM Football Academy socials.