If you’re anything like the rest of us, heading into space with Nasa, fighting fires, swallowing swords or taking up a career as a professional juggler were probably at the top of your list – but how many of you longed to be a football coach?

Very few, we bet.

Let’s be honest, with grey, stuffy figures like Sven-Göran Eriksson previously at the forefront of the managerial game, it’s no wonder we’d rather be risking our lives saving cats from trees, manning rocket ships to Mars or sliding a 10-inch blade down our throats.  

But times have changed.

These days, young and passionate managers such as Garry Monk at Swansea and even Roberto Martinez at Everton are inspiring a fresh crop of coaching hopefuls to get involved in dictating games from the sidelines.

The First Whistle

It should go without saying, but unless you’re already involved in the beautiful game at some level, the path to football coaching stardom will be fraught with obstacles you’re unlikely to overcome in a hurry.

After all, most coaches have previously been professional footballers, with many former players actually studying for their coaching badges and UEFA licences well before the referee blows the final whistle on their career.

However, this isn’t the only option.

It’s hard to believe, but a growing number of footballers – and existing coaches – are getting to grips with the theoretical side of the game and gaining an unrivalled insight into its various tactical nuances by studying for a football coaching degree at university.

Studying the Beautiful Game

It may seem incongruous to some, but becoming a football coach at a top club often requires a solid academic background, as supplementing your on field knowledge with skills you can easily switch from the pitch to the dugout is part and parcel of the modern game.

But what are you likely to learn in the classroom that you won’t learn on the pitch?  

Over three years, you’ll be given the opportunity to learn from individuals involved at the highest levels of the game, enhancing your abilities and furnishing you with the knowledge you need to operate ethically and safely as a coach.

Back of the net!

Not only that, but if you eventually decide the coaching route isn’t for you, the transferable skills you’ll pick up throughout the course will hold you in good stead if you decide to change careers somewhere down the line.

The Quest for Silverware

Regardless of whether your goal is to teach youngsters the finer points of football or work with seasoned pros at club level, filling your educational locker by way of a targeted university course is a great way to get your squad on side.

While a football coaching degree is no guarantee of you and your team lifting silverware, it gives you the best possible opportunity to learn in a stimulating environment and perhaps go on to become the next Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho.