Meet the Coach: Christopher Grant, Cambodia
Name: Christopher Grant
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!