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I’m honoured to work with fellow Greenhouse coaches like Jorge


Greenhouse coaches Jorge Alves (left) and Danny Fenner (right)

My name is Danny Fenner and I am a coach, mentoring and development officer at Greenhouse Sports Football Club (GSFC). I have been with the charity for nearly five years and during that time I have worked with some great people. I would like to introduce one of them to you – my fellow GLFC coach Jorge Alves, who in our four years working together has frequently demonstrated that he is truly gifted coach and mentor to the young people he trains.

Jorge’s first season with GLFC in 2011 was challenging. With English as his third language after Portuguese and Spanish, and limited coaching experience, he had to develop his speaking skills quickly and adapt to being assistant coach to a bunch of challenging U15 Peckham teenagers. Jorge’s calmness, graceful mannerisms and enthusiasm kept that group engaged and motivated even when the participants were struggling with their Social and Emotional skills (part of the Greenhouse STEP – Social, Thinking Emotional, Physical – coaching framework).

Jorge kicked off his second season in 2012/13 with fellow coach Kieran Culleton. It was match made in heaven, both were fairly new to Greenhouse, but both had an open mind set. They worked with the U8s who were novices to football – most could barely kick a ball, none of them understood the rules – but Jorge’s quiet patience, strategic goal-setting for his players and fantastically produced coaching sessions have elevated that group to be the most gifted age group we have at Greenhouse London FC.

It was impressive to see Jorge applying what he had learned from coaching the U15 team to these younger players. The previous year was a tough introduction to community football coaching, but it became the foundation which has made Jorge the great coach he is today. As the U8s turned into U9s, Jorge was promoted to Head Coach, and his age group continued their great attitude and behaviour that Jorge had instilled in them while achieving fantastic progress in their team work and self-discipline.

What makes Jorge special (it’s not that Jose Mourinho is Portuguese!) is that he has developed the full skill set as a coach; he is able to improve Social, Thinking and Emotional skills, but to also apply Physical (Sporting skill and ABC’s) into his players – which is a tough and delicate balance to strike.

Just two years after he started with us, Jorge was voted Coach of the Year by his peers at Greenhouse London FC. Jorge’s players had all improved individually on a technical level, they worked well as a team and supported each other – they were innovative, fun to watch and admired from a spectator point of view. During the 2012/13 season, Jorge completed his FA Level 2 and FA Youth Module 1 and 2 coaching qualifications. These courses gave him a huge depth of knowledge and helped his Continuous Professional Development.

Jorge has continued to impress the rest of the team. His work ethic and attention to detail is second to none. Beyond all of these attributes, it’s his ability to further his knowledge, learn from others and then apply this to his coaching that makes him so good. In my role I feel very honoured and privileged to work with a fellow coach like Jorge.