Meet the Coach: Christopher Grant, Cambodia


Name: Christopher Grant

Age: 30

Qualifications: AFC ‘B’ Licence

Job: Director of Elite Soccer Coaching, Cambodia

Previous jobs: U14 Technical Coordinator / First Team Opposition Scout at Phnom Penh Crown Football Club (Cambodia); SFA School of Football Coach (Scotland); Pro Youth Academy Coach at Dunfermline Athletic Football Club (Scotland); Youth Academy Coach / Assistant Community Manager at Livingston Football Club (Scotland)

Playing career: Probably similar to a lot of other people’s – playing locally across my hometown from a 5 to 21. I always had the dream to make it but as in most cases, it never materialised.

Why did you move abroad? In 2009 in Edinburgh, I opened my coaching company Elite Soccer Coaching. I moved abroad in 2013 to South-East Asia to extend my coaching company globally and to open up our soccer schools worldwide.

Dream job: I guess it would have to be involved in a coaching capacity with the first team at my hometown club Heart of Midlothian FC.

Strangest place coached: I guess the strangest/very different environment would be a province in Cambodia where the pitch was…well you couldn’t really call it a pitch. It was just a pure dirt/red ash type of soil surrounded by the local community looking on at this strange white guy coaching kids. The session actually got cancelled halfway through due to a downpour of rain!

Wenger or Mourinho? Very difficult one. I guess I would go with Wenger purely for the fact I like his style of play and his philosophy of developing young players.

Nil-nil draw or 3-4 defeat? Nil-Nil draw for sure, I love a clean sheet!

Best player coached: A player during my days at the Livingston FC academy called Mark McNulty, a very talented and natural finisher. He has since gone on to become a pro and is currently at Sheffield United.

Worst player coached (or worst type of player): Players who are lazy and think they know it all already!

First thing you do in your first session with a new team: I always ensure that my first session creates an environment where players feel relaxed and motivated. This is incredibly important for me when working with players at youth level and sets a platform for continued growth.

Career ambition: I guess I have two answers to this question. 1. To have Elite Soccer Coaching franchises worldwide. 2. To become an Academy technical director of a professional football club.

One thing you’d change about football: Cap player salaries, it’s totally out of control!

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