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Coaching Books - Overall we recommend the following books:

  • Coaching Academy Kids: The Official FA Guide to Basic Team Coaching; 101 Youth Soccer Drills – Ages 7 to 11.

  • Coaching Teams U11 to U14: The Official FA Guide to Basic Team Coaching; How to Coach a Soccer Team; Skills & Strategies for coaching soccer; 64 small-sided games; Coaching Under 12s.

  • Coaching Teams U15 to U18: The Official FA Guide to Basic Team Coaching; How to Coach a Soccer Team; The Winning Formula; Skills & strategies for coaching soccer; 64 small-sided games.

  • Coaching Adult Teams: The Winning Formula; The FA Coaching Book of Soccer Tactics and Skills; Skills & strategies for coaching soccer; 64 small-sided games.

A full reference list and brief review of these and other good quality books are detailed below. All of these books may be purchased through
  1. The Official FA Guide to Basic Team Coaching - Les Reed ( Hodder Arnold, 2004) - A basic affordable introduction to football coaching. An essential for all coaches of schoolboys and girls up to youths (U18) level. Highly Recommended. A must for all coaches.

  2. The FA Coaching Book of Soccer Tactics and Skills - Charles Hughes ( Lennard Queen Anne Press, 1980 (1999 reprint)) – Covers all the basics. Highly recommended for anyone on the FAI coaching courses from Level One upwards, as well as teams from schoolboy/girl to adult teams. May be difficult to buy, as out of print. Try second hand. Slightly dated, but basics still the same.

  3. The Winning Formula - Charles Hughes (Collins, 1990) – As above – essential for all levels. Out of print, so may be difficult to get. Strong emphasis on direct play. Take what you want from it.

  4. How to Coach a Soccer Team - Tony Carr (Hamlyn, 2005) – Super book for anyone coaching soccer to teams from under 11 up to youths level for the first time. Highly recommended.

  5. Youth Soccer Coaching – Tony Carr (Cassell, 1997) – Tony Carr has a great track record of producing quality young footballers at West Ham, and this book gives a fine introduction to some of the basic coaches techniques used by the “Irons”. Excellent book for coaches for U16 to Youths

  6. Dutch Soccer Drills 5 – Henny Kormelink (Reedswain, 2006) – Lots of coaching drills and small sided games for all ages from U11 to adult.

  7. 101 Youth Soccer Drills – Ages 12 to 16 - Malcolm Cook (A & C Black, 2004) – Does as it says on the tin! Lots a good drills for use with teams U12 to U16.

  8. 101 Youth Soccer Drills – Ages 7 to 11 - Malcolm Cook (A & C Black, 2004) – Again, lots of good drills. This time suitable for academy kids.

  9. Soccer Training – Games, drills and fitness practice – Malcolm Cook and Jimmy Shoulder (A & C Black, 2003) – More variations and drills for teams U11 to U16.

  10. Coaching the Goalkeeper – Tony Waiters (World Soccer, 1992) – May be difficult to get. Try second hand, from US. Well worth it. Goalkeepers get forgotten about in training, even though arguably the most important position on the field! Do you best to get it if you are going to work with your keepers.

  11. SAQ Soccer – Alan Pearson (A & C Black, 2001) – A bit expensive. If you have attended any of the SAQ courses you will be familiar with a lot of the drills.

  12. The Official FA Guide to Fitness for Football – Dr Richard Hawkins (Hodder Arnold, 2004) – Highly Recommended. Part of an excellent series of FA Guides. Buy it.

  13. The Official FA Guide to Psychology for Football – Dr Andy Cale and Roberto Forzoni (Hodder Arnold, 2004) – Don’t be fooled by the title. This will help all coaches. In fact, I would say that it is a must to help you deal with all levels of coaching. Highly recommended.

  14. Focused for Soccer – Bill Beswick (Human Kinetics, 2001) – If you have an interest in the area of sports psychology, you should buy this book. Suitable for coaches of advanced youths or adult teams.

  15. Soccer Skills and Techniques – Bobby Charlton Soccer School (Abbeydale Press, 2002) – A good introductory book to new coaches, giving basic coaching drills and exercises to teach technical skills. Best suited to coaches of kids up to maybe U13 level.

  16. Mind Games – Jeff Grout and Sarah Perrin (Capstone, 2007) – An excellent read for any coach who has an interest in sports psychology.

  17. Set Plays – Marco Ceccomori (Reedswain, 2003) Absolutely superb book, with over 100 set piece plays, for both attacking and defending. An excellent book for Youth and adult team coaches.

  18. Coaching the 4-4-2 – Floriano Marziali and Vincenzo Mora (Reedswain, 1997) - Advanced coaching manual on the use of the 4-4-2. Recommended for U15 to adult teams.

  19. Coaching the 4-3-3 – Massimo Lucchesi (Reedswain, 2005) – Advanced coaching manual on the use of the 4-3-3. Recommended for U15 to adult teams.

  20. Coaching Under 12s - A Complete Coaching Course [With CDROM] by Tino Stoop (Author) – The Dutch Soccer Association (KNVB) coaching book This is an excellent book. We highly recommend it for coaching of Midleton FC Under 11 and 12 teams. The basis of the Dutch coaching model is to try to replicate street soccer with the use of small-sided-games. This way, kids get to get lots of time on the ball in training. It also assists them to figure out key soccer problems for themselves, by the use of conditioned games. This is a useful means of helping club players get as much enjoyment as possible from their one hour session. It comes with an excellent CD-Rom, where all games are demonstrated by U12 players.

  21. 64 small-sided games - Michael Beale (Better Football Coaching): This is our recommended coaching book for the use of small-sided games in our club training sessions. I highly recommend this manual.

  22. Skills & Strategies for Coaching Soccer - Alan Hargreaves and Richard Bate (2nd Edition): This is one of our recommended coaching books for all age groups. Excellent value for money. Well laid out, with drills for all ages and abilities. Highly recommended.

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