David Connolly shares what he, Hasselbaink and the Nevilles have soaked up on the Pro Licence course

Ex-Ireland striker talks to Off The Ball about what it's like in the midst of getting elite coaching badges

David Connolly,

Picture by: Joe Giddens / EMPICS Sport

Former Ireland striker David Connolly is well on the road to getting his coaching qualifications as someone who has been on the UEFA Pro Licence course and is expected to graduate this summer.

A two-year course, the ex-Sunderland forward joined Joe on Off The Ball tonight to tell us about just how testing it is and the type of things prospective coaches and managers are taught.

"It's trying to give you a rounded education as such. It can't recommend any one formation and it's not there to do that," he said.

"You're learning not only off the course but also from your peers. We've got some brilliant people on the course, players who have just come to the end of their careers, much better players than myself like you're [Jimmy Floyd] Hasselbainks of this world, Scott Parker, Brad Friedel, Phil Neville, Gary Neville's been in because he missed a bit because of the World Cup. Then you've got current managers like Warburton at Rangers, you've got managers who are in the lower leagues at Bury ... Dave Flitcroft etc so Jimmy's now at QPR, you've got goalkeeping coaches like Gerry Peyton on it. You've got a real mix in group and you almost learn just as much off them as you do off the course." 

The 38-year-old is getting some first hand coaching experience with Millwall's U18s but also got the insight of Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew who came into give a talk on the Pro Licence course and passed on knowledge about personal pitfalls of dealing with the press.

Pardew and his ex-Ireland manager Mick McCarthy have also shared tips and advice to him.

Media scenarios are some of the other parts of the course, that Pro Licence prospects have to practice, as well as a knowledge of finances and man-management.

And while he is completing the course, Connolly feels a senior management job "is not the right time for me now".