Nevin joins England 'inner sanctum' with BAME placement

Nevin has been first team coach at Brighton since 2016 

Nevin has been first team coach at Brighton since 2016 

BRIGHTON first-team coach Paul Nevin says he is delighted to be invited into the “inner sanctum” of the England team as part of a BAME placement set up by the Football Association.

The three-year initiative has been set up to help to solve the under-representation of BAME coaches and “improve the pipeline of future talent”.

A number of “active or observational roles” have been created “to ensure the diversity of national coaches and support staff better represents the diversity seen in players across the teams”.

Nevin, 49, will support Gareth Southgate’s senior staff for the November matches against USA and Croatia at Wembley.

“Further opportunities will be identified for future camps into 2019, with the names to be confirmed as and when appropriate in terms of coaches’ availability and club commitments,” the FA said.

Nevin said: “When I got the call, I was absolutely delighted and feel it's a very privileged position. First and foremost, I'm very thankful to Gareth and The FA for the opportunity.

“I’m also thankful to Brighton as well, for allowing me the time to do this to help develop myself and gain new experience. Any coach at any level who invites you into the inner sanctum of how they work says something about your own character and hopefully the trust that Gareth has in me to preserve that environment.

“This is a chance to work with the best players in the country. Obviously I see them week-to-week in the Premier League but working with them en-masse in a squad setting is going to be immense.

"Having had a brief experience of working at international youth development levels, it's a chance to see the final product that's coming through the system while working alongside the top coaches in the country.

"Being a part of that environment at the highest level of international football and looking at how they work and function will have the biggest impact on me. I previously had a spell working in coach development at the Premier League so I'm aware of the need to give opportunities to the quality BAME coaches out there.

"And I think The FA are leading the way on that and are following through with what they said they would do and it's a great example for others to follow. Sometimes it's easier to give that exposure to coaches at the younger age groups but to do it at the very highest level in that environment speaks volumes about how serious The FA takes the issues of giving BAME coaches opportunities."

Nevin is a hugely experienced and qualified coach and manager. After playing for clubs including Shrewsbury Town, Carlisle United and Yeovil Town, as well as spending four years in the USA, he began his coaching career with Fulham’s Academy.

In total, he spent eight years at Craven Cottage, rising to the position of Academy and reserve team manager.

When he took over as manager of the New Zealand Knights in 2006, he already held the Uefa Pro Licence and was declared the most qualified coach in the country. After that he held positions as Football Performance Manager at the Aspire Academy in Qatar, Head of Coaching at Norwich City and Head of Coaching for the Premier League.

Three years later, he joined Hughton’s coaching staff at Brighton. Prior to his coaching career, he worked as a social worker in Wandsworth for three years.

Furthermore, former Wolves and Ipswich Town coach Terry Connor will be working with U21s boss Aidy Boothroyd as the Young Lions take on Andorra and Scotland this month.

And ex England defender Sol Campbell has been earmarked to work alongside Boothroyd’s staff in November. Iffy Onuora had been working on a similar basis in recent months including the successful Toulon Tournament last summer.

Guyana boss Michael Johnson, who played more than 500 games as a professional in England and also holds the Pro Licence, told TGG that The FA initiative was to be welcomed.

"First and foremost I have to say well done to The FA," he said, "because at least they are trying to do something.

"They've recognised there's a lack of diversity in coaching positions within the different England teams and this is a brave step to address that.

"Paul already has a senior role at a Premier League club and now he's in a position to showcase what he can do with England."

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