Men's Sunday Team

The Sunday team will play in Division 1 of the Chelmsford Sunday Football League following a successful, Covid-19 hit 2020-21 season, gaining promotion as runners up of Division 2’A’ having been beaten only once. A season of what could have been as we were also in both the League and Divisional cups when the competitions were sadly expunged.

The team had the tightest defence in the league, only conceding 16 goals and one of our attacking players also picked up the Leagues golden boot with 12 other players chipping in with goals during the campaign.

The promotion in 2021 is the 3rd in recent times following runners up positions in Division 4 in 2018 under the guidance of Terry Haydon and Nick Webb, and again in Division 3 in 2019 whilst being managed by Steve Harding and Aaron Hayden. Consolidation in mid table of the higher division and a good cup run is the plan this year, but with a good start who knows what we can do?

Coach Bio

Manager: Sam Older
Assistant Manager: James Fitzgerald

James Fitzgerald

HPFC Men’s Footballer
HPFC Men’s Sunday Team Manager
HPFC Men’s Management Team and Coach
HPFC U16’s Hawks Coach
HPFC Youth Development Committee
BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Science

Football is a main passion of mine and something which I have loved from a very early age.

Whilst still enjoying the playing aspect, I also have a real love and interest in coaching and developing the next generation of footballers.

Having gained my FA Level 1 in coaching, I’m keen to push on with my coaching education and attain my Level 2 qualification as soon as possible.

I have been involved in the Men’s set up for many years, and have found that I thoroughly enjoy the research, planning and development of sessions, particularly in pre- season where I have taken an active role in session planning.

One thing I am passionate about and have campaigned and pushed for many years is to establish a link at the football club from Youth into the Adult football, creating a clear pathway for our young footballers. This has come to fruition in recent years, where we have had many players step up from U18’s, into the Development side and onto the Men’s teams on a Saturday.

For the past three years I have also coached the now U16’s Hawks. We have enjoyed great successes in that time and the progression of the players has been a joy to watch. Watching them develop and grow, not just as footballers but as people too has been most rewarding. It is a privilege to be part of their journey.

So a little about me as a coach and my philosophies.

I love researching new ideas, drills and sessions. Constantly watching, analysing and learning from what I see, have done and been involved with.

I like my sessions to flow throughout, with progressions that lead from one to the next, to the next.

Most training sessions will have a general theme of what we want to achieve, but it’s important not to make these the priority, as there are many aspects and opportunities to learn throughout a session.

Most importantly, all training should to be fun and engaging, as for players to involve themselves, they need to enjoy the session so they can get the most out of it.

With that being said, there always needs to be an element of hard work and developing the basics, which is emphasised to create the mental toughness in young players. Dedication, commitment and positive attitudes are all important characteristics that we try to encourage and promote in our players.

Throughout my coaching education, I’ve learned the importance of game related and specific training and drills. This makes it more realistic to the situations they will face in a game environment.

Transferable skills and repetition are key, lots of opportunities to learn and make mistakes but also to develop their knowledge and understanding.

When they encounter situations or things that happen within a match, they already have the skill set to adapt and deal with what they are experiencing, and feel comfortable to do so.

Another take home message is increasing the ball rolling time throughout the session, plenty of touches on the ball and constantly on the move. This again increases their confidence with the ball at their feet, developing the basics but also engaging them as much as possible.

I have also recently taken on the role of Manager for our Sunday Development team, comprising mostly of players between the ages of 18-24. We enjoyed a stellar campaign, finishing Runners Up in Division 2 by a single point and losing only one game all season.

The main focus for us is to allow the players a platform to just go and play, and enjoy doing so. Without fear or reprimand, an opportunity to express themselves individually whilst maintaining the work ethic and playing as part of a team.

We always encourage an attractive brand of football; passing and movement, quick interchanges, individual skills and attacking football. Playing forward as much as possible and with a purpose, while also remaining patient and composed on the ball, keeping possession.

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