Vinny Ivanov - MD of AFC Southgate
Alongside running AFC Southgate, Vinny is currently studying MSc Performance Analysis in Football. Managing a team of 15 coaches, while taking on the role of Head Coach himself, Vinny has been one of the first directors to introduce performance analysis into a grassroots club. With high hopes for AFC Southgate going forward, Vinny tells us how he’s using material from his Master’s programme to advance the club further and improve his own coaching abilities…
Tell us about your role as Head Coach AFC Southgate and what it involves. I am Managing Director of AFC Southgate and a head coach. My responsibilities as a head coach are leading the day-to-day operational management of the academy, with full oversight of the coaching, training ground and the infrastructure. I hold full responsibility for the cultural and behavioural standards within the club to ensure its success along with the long-term strategy. Further, I manage a diverse team of 15 football coaches, providing support and guidance whilst overseeing all coaching operations for the youth team. I help develop player’s knowledge, technique and tactical awareness of the game to drive on pitch performance. I’m responsible for coordinating training sessions and organising the football programme along with matches and tournaments. I also oversee budgets and forecasting, continually reviewing processes and activities to identify cost-saving opportunities. Sourcing and liaising with suppliers and vendors for equipment and kit, I lead negotiations whilst maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders.
Why did you decide to buy into the club? When I started coaching, I always had that dream to run a football club in a way I thought it should be run. However, when I started, I hadn’t thought of all the challenges I may face along the way, but of course I was aware of the roles and responsibilities I would have within the club. It was a rocky road to start with as I was juggling coaching with managing at the club, but since the beginning of this season, I have been helping the coaches in their development by giving them feedback after their sessions and games.
How are you hoping to grow and expand the club in grassroots football? We are growing as a club every year and we hope this will continue in the future. We are a club which gives the opportunity to play competitive football to everyone. Every year we are trying to introduce something new to help develop our teams and the development groups we have at the club; we decided to take a step ahead of most of the other grassroots football clubs by introducing performance analysis. We are currently filming games to help our coaches and players to reach their highest performance potential by holding meetings with the players and parents to go through what the players have been doing well and what they can do better to improve further. We also started girls training sessions where we train girls at different ages, and hopefully we can create one or two teams to enter in a girls’ league to play competitive football next season.