The English Football Association have announced that more than 250,000 people throughout the country have completed its FA Learning coaching courses.
The current programme was created in 2001 and the latest figures provide evidence of significant interest in a variety of the courses on offer.
Since the beginning of the 2010/11 campaign, almost 10,000 coaches interested in youth football have passed the Level One course, while more than 7,000 have undertaken the Age Appropriate Youth Award Modules.
More than 5,000 coaches now hold both UEFA A and B licences, while 187 have completed the Pro Licence certificate.
The FA’s Head of Elite Development Gareth Southgate said he is encouraged by the figures released: “The aim is to try and produce more quality players and coaches to help us achieve at senior level but this journey starts in the grassroots game with youth football.
“Youngsters need positive role models when they’re learning the game and coaches in local clubs and schools can really harness that interest and make a difference to young players and how they progress through football.”
The former Middlesbrough manager, who began his new role in January, cited several young players who are making strides at their clubs as proof of what coaching at youth level can achieve.
He added: “We’re seeing the likes of Jack Wilshere and Josh McEachran coming through at a high level now and both of those players can probably name a coach who helped them on their way when they were younger and still dreaming of the Premier League.
“We want to see coaches working their way through the system, achieving their Level One and Two certificates to begin with and progressing from there. The opportunity to specialise in working with young players is good for the game and points towards a positive future.”