Press release


Sunday 1 November 2015


Premier Skills Phase 2 training kicks off in India


The second phase of the hugely successful Premier Skills initiative, run by the Premier League and the British Council will take place from 2 to 7 November 2015 in Thiruvananthapuram, Keralaat Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE).


Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council. It uses football as a tool to help develop both community coaching and English language skills. The programme trains sports coaches, referees and youth leaders, enhancing their existing football skills, whilst also developing their leadership skills and a greater understanding of the role football can play in tackling other social issues.


In November 2014, for the Phase 1 training, coaches and referees of the Premier Skills Kolkata Goalz programme, belonging to Kerala Football Association, Goa Football Association, Sports Authority of India, and  three NGOs, were trained at Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education (LNCPE), Kerala.  Phase 2 consists of two training programmes: Coach Education (2 — 7 November 2015) and Referee Development (2 — 4 November 2015). The coach education programme will be attended by 36 Indian coaches and 24 Indian referees will participate in the referee programme. These coaches and referees (from Goa and Kerala) have been chosen from the Phase 1 participants.


During the programme, the coaches and referees will receive training from qualified Premier Skills coaches, giving them the skills and support to develop their own community football projects and development as referees and coaches. The coaches’ training programme will be led by experienced Premier Skills Head Coach Jeremy Weeks supported by Robert Perret, Sports Development Manager with Crystal Palace FC Foundation and Cheryl Edwards, Community Coach at Aston Villa Football Club. The referee training programme will be led by Graham Laws, Referee Coach at Professional Game Match Officials Limited supported by Michael Edward Murphy, Assistant Referee Coach.

The training will end with a demonstration of skills that the coaches and referees have learnt over the course of the programme. This will be showcased on Friday 6 November and Sunday 7 November, at SAI, LNCPE, Thiruvananthapuram.


The course in Thiruvananthapuram is being jointly organised by the British Council and Premier League in association with Sports Authority of India (SAI), Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kerala Football Association (KFA) and Goa Football Association (GFA).


In addition to coaching, a range of free materials, including a dedicated website, has been created under Premier Skills for teachers and learners of English that utilise exciting Premier League content and the British Council’s world-class expertise in English.



















Premier League

Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, said:

“I am thrilled that Premier Skills will return to India this week for Phase 2 of the project. In the UK, Premier League clubs have a long-held commitment to investing in and supporting local community and education programmes and that is now being mirrored internationally, with Premier Skills operating in 25 countries. Given the increasing interest in football in India we are proud to support the country’s growing enthusiasm for the sport by providing more highly trained coaches and referees to pass on their expertise through Premier Skills.”


Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council South India said

“We are delighted to present Premier Skills, Phase 2 training programme, our very successful partnership project with the Premier League in South India. It combines English and football, two universal languages and with the support of our local partners in India — Sports Authority of India (SAI), Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education, All India Football Federation (AIFF), Kerala Football Association (KFA) and Goa Football Association (GFA) — we have been able to provide this opportunity. As part of Phase 2 training, the Coach Education and Referee Development programmes will be attended by successful coaches and referees from Phase 1 of the project. We hope the coaches and referees find this training useful and are able to make the most impact in their respective communities”.


The Programme

Coach Education Programme: 2 - 7 November 2015

The Coach Education curriculum aims to develop a group of local master trainers at the end of the programme. It will help to develop community coach skills and knowledge. The training will be in three parts, over 18 — 24 months and involves attendance at and graduation from each part of the training. There will be learning and practical tasks that must be completed between each of the training. Those that are successful will need to demonstrate continued progress throughout the 3 Phases and with the tasks that they will be asked to complete between the training phases. Successful Phase 3 Graduates will become Premier Skills Coach Educators - and they will have an opportunity to train and develop new Premier Skills Community Coaches to support the work of their organisation.


Referee Development programme: 2 - 4 November 2014

The Referee Development programme is a two phase programme which offers participants an introduction to refereeing at grassroots level. Participants include referees that are already working in community football programmes but who have received minimal or no formal training to improve their refereeing skills and knowledge.



- ENDS -


Notes to the Editor


Premier Skills is a partnership between the Premier League and the British Council which uses football as a tool to develop a brighter future for young people around the world.


It draws upon the Premier League’s global appeal and expertise in delivering community programmes in the UK, alongside the British Council’s global network, track record of delivery and world class expertise in English.


Through Premier Skills, young people, including the most vulnerable in society, are given opportunities to become better integrated into their local communities, to develop their skills for employability and raise their self-esteem.


Premier Skills is a proven model, influencing institutional approaches to social action through football as well as providing direct training to coaches and referees.


Since the first pilot in 2007, the project has been delivered across 29 countries: Afghanistan, Botswana, Brazil, Burma, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia (including Libyan participants), Uganda, USA, Vietnam and Zambia.


By 2016, Premier Skills aims to engage at least 50 policy-makers in football as a tool for development, to train at least 3,000 coaches and referees and through them reach more than 300,000 young people.


Through Premier Skills English, teachers and learners of English are given free, compelling learning materials, drawing on football-based content from the most exciting football league in the world.


For more on Premier Skills visit


To find out more about the football-focused English content and to view the materials online, visit


The Premier League is involved in a wide range of community projects both in the UK and overseas. For more information on these, see:


About the British Council:


The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff — including 2000 teachers — work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.


The British Council was established in India in 1948. We are recognised across India for our network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.


For more information contact:

Rajeswari Pradeep Kumar, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications (South India) at [email protected].




































Jeremy Weeks — Head coach


Jez Weeks graduated from Exeter University in 2005 with a Masters in Sport and Exercise Science.  It was during his time at Exeter he began coaching as part of the Community and Academy departments at Exeter City FC.   He also spent two summers coaching in the USA as Head Soccer Coach at Lake Owego Sports Camp in Pennsylvania. In 2006, Jez joined Fulham FC where he spent the next five seasons.  He worked for the Fulham FC Foundation as a Sports Development Officer in the London area, whilst also coaching for the Academy and Girl’s Centre of Excellence.  He became Acting Sports Development Manager in 2009, managing all the football, sport and health related development projects across London and Surrey.


Jez left Fulham FC in May 2011 to join the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee (LOCOG) where he was the Paralympic Football Competition Manager.  He was involved in the Olympic Football competition at the 6 stadiums across the UK including Wembley and Old Trafford and managed the Paralympic 5 and 7 a side competitions on the Olympic Park during the Paralympic Games.


Jez has been involved with the Premier Skills programme since 2009 when he travelled to Cameroon for a Phase 1 programme.  He has since been involved in the development of the syllabus for Premier Skills Phase 2 as well as creating a programme together with the Premier League for Magic Bus, a sports development charity in India.  He currently runs his own sports Consultancy Company called W10 and provides on-going support to the development of the Premier Skills programme.


Qualifications: FA Level 1, 2 and 3 Coaching Awards, FA Youth Modules 1 and the Sports Mentor Level 3 awards



Cheryl Louise Edwards

Cheryl began her playing career at grass roots at the age of 11 with Rugby Town Girls, progressing to the ladies team at the age of 15. At 15, she trialled at Birmingham City Ladies Centre of Excellence and earned a year’s contract with them before being loaned out to Coventry City Ladies to gain first team experience in the Ladies Premier League for one season. She then was put into the academy and development squad at Birmingham City Ladies where she spent two years in the academy and then moved into the first team at the age of 20. She made her WSL debut against Notts County LFC. Cheryl achieved her England Colleges Cap at the age of 18 in a tour of Estonia for England Colleges.

Cheryl began her coaching career at the age of 14, volunteering for Rugby Town Girls at various age groups before volunteering at Coventry City Girls. Her first coaching job was with a holiday club called ‘Coolsportz’ working with children aged 4-14 years, before getting football coaching positions with Birmingham City Ladies Centre of Excellence, Solihull Moors Girls and her most recent position with Aston Villa in the Community.

Cheryl is currently studying a Foundation Degree in Coaching Science with Oxford Brooke's at Solihull College with the ambition of achieving a career in playing and coaching in football.


Qualifications: FA Level 1 Football Coaching, FA Level 2 Football Coaching, FA Youth Module 1, FA Youth Module 2, FA Blind Football Coaching, FA Disability Football Coaching, FA Level 7 Referee
FA Mentoring Adults, FA Junior Football Organiser, FA Age Appropriate Introductory, Level 1 in Coaching Netball, BTEC L3 in Coaching, Development & Fitness.



Robert Lewin Perret

Robert has been working in coaching and sports development for 16 years, 10 of which have been with professional football clubs which has given him a comprehensive understanding of the industry, in particular, being able to manage staff, partners, programmes and budgets.  He has a degree in sports studies and holds a UEFA B licence in football coaching.


He is currently employed as Sports Development Manager with Crystal Palace FC Foundation overseeing the elite player development programme, college academies, PL girls, PL4Sport as well as all income generating courses and some inclusion programmes for over 40’s.


Throughout his career in coaching he has been fortunate enough to work with a wide variety of age groups from 3 year old beginners to walking football for over 55’s.  He has also worked across PE delivery, multi sports programmes, girls coaching, elite programmes, grass roots clubs, adult teams, disability groups and academy teams.  Some of the programmes he has coached have allowed him to work with national governing bodies from a number of sports as well as working closely with the FA, Football League & Premier League on joint initiatives.


Qualifications: UEFA B licence in football coaching


Graham Laws — Head Referee Coach

Graham served as a National List Referee for 16 years, refereeing over 500 Football League games from 1983 to 2009.  He refereed the play-off finals in 2001, 2002 and 2009.  Graham retired from refereeing in 2009 and became an assessor on the Football League for PGMOL.  In 2010, he became a Referee Coach for PGMOL and is currently still working in this capacity, coaching Football League and Conference Referees.  In 2012, Graham passed an ILM diploma course in Coaching and Mentoring.


Michael Edward Murphy

Michael is currently employed by PGMOL as a part-time Assistant Referee Coach looking after 51 National List Assistant Referees. Within his role, he attends games and provides 1-to-1 feedback, with the intention of helping the Assistant Referees recognise their own strengths and areas for development.  He is also a Contributory League (Level 2b and 3Y) Assessor.  He has also previously acted as a mentor for ten Level 3 Referees.  During his active time as a Referee he was an Assistant Referee on the National list for 10 years, the last 4 as part of the select group. He was also a Panel League referee for three seasons until the 2002-03 season.