Football is a game of great skill, athleticism, passion and entertainment.
It’s also a great career opportunity, and not just for those with on-field talent.
Whatever code you love – be it soccer, rugby league, rugby union, AFL, rugby 7s, wheelchair rugby, futsal or touch football – it takes a big team to achieve success.
One such role is a football manager. And it could be a great fit for you.
What is a football manager?
A football coach and a football manager share similarities, but there are also key differences.
A coach’s focus is almost purely on the fitness, skills and success of the team on the field: they train the team, look after their fitness, help players improve their performance and ultimately aim for positive results on the field.
A manager may get involved in some coaching activities, but they also hold more responsibility off the field in the business side of football: scouting for talent, player acquisition, financial management of the club, media relations, and managing other staff such as the coaches and medical teams.
So how do you become a football manager?
It can be an exciting and rewarding role – but it can also be a tough road to get there. You’ll need dedication, time and a willingness to learn.
Being a fan of the game is a great place to start, but it’s just that: a start.
There are a few key steps to consider when you’re planning your journey towards a career as a football manager.
We’ve mapped out a short list to help you get started.
1. Follow your passion
Know the code you love – on and off the field.
Understand the player side of the sport by watching as many games as you can, or by joining a recreational club and playing the game. These will help you pick up on the practical skills and strategy the game is built on.
Learn the professional rules, which are available online through the official websites of each sporting code.
Speak to people in the industry about their experiences, their skills, their career pathways, and what their roles involve. Or join a school program which is specially designed for school students in Years 10–12. Workshops run throughout the year on campus or at the school.
Another great option is to volunteer at a club to be close to the action, from the inside.
2. Become a coach
Real world experience counts for a lot too – so putting your knowledge and skills to the test in practical settings is excellent.
You might consider volunteering or getting certified as a youth league coach or referee to help build your skillset in a less competitive environment. It may also help lay the groundwork for stepping into a management area, as well as reinforcing the skills you’ll need to be a successful manager.
And big surprise – beyond the technical understanding of the game, many of these skills are not unique to football, but rather to being an effective leader in any part of life:
- Confidence and leadership
- Quick decision making
- Good communication
- Positivity and motivation.
3. Get qualified
A formal management qualification goes a long way to helping you succeed!
And believe it or not, there are football degree courses and football management courses that offer the formal training to help get you there.
How do I pick from the many football degree courses in Australia?
We’re glad you asked!
A quick search for football management courses will give you plenty of options – but look no further than ACPE’s Bachelor of Football (Development, Management and Performance), Associate Degree of Football (Development, Management and Performance) or our Diploma of Football (Development, Management and Performance). It’s really the ultimate football studies and business degree selection for you!
These one, two and three-year full-time (or part-time equivalent) degrees with industry experts to give you the foundation of everything you need to kick off your career in the football industry, whatever code you love.
During your studies you’ll touch on everything from coaching techniques, officiating and tactics all the way through to sport business, player wellbeing, communication, and international study of football – to name a few. You’ll explore a range of football codes to learn how these global sports deliver exemplary practice in contexts such as coaching, community and participation, inclusion, management and leadership, sport science, and high-performance.
By the time the final whistle blows on your degree, you’ll graduate with a well-rounded set of skills and knowledge to prepare you for a range of careers in the football industry.
Choose the way you want to study
And if it’s flexibility you’re after, we score a goal here too! Thanks to our course structure you can study through a combination of online, on-campus or blended units, with the option of both domestic and international work-integrated learning placements in real-life football environments available too.
If you live out of Sydney, no problem – you can complete your studies online! Textbooks are all freely available, so all that’s required is an on-campus intensive component delivered over a weekend.
Turn your passion into a sustainable career
Football management courses open the door to many other opportunities beyond football. Just a few of the other potential roles in the industry you could consider for a career are:
- Competition Managers
- Academy Coach
- Community Fan Development Officer
- Performance Analyst/Data Scout
- Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator
- School and Community Coordinators.
Discover where the Bachelor of Football, Associate Degree of Football, or Diploma of Football (Development, Management and Performance) can take you by heading over to the football course page for more information, or get in touch with our friendly ACPE team.