Grassroots Youth Coach of the Year Lloyd Collingwoode-Williams

Today, we caught up with Lloyd Collingwoode-Williams, who won Grassroots Coach of the Year (Youth).

Back in August, London FA announced our winners for the 2021 Grassroots Football Award winners. We are catching up with all of our winners and hearing more about their stories.

Today, we caught up with Lloyd Collingwoode-Williams, who won Grassroots Coach of the Year (Youth). Lloyd coaches at Blackheath (Youth) and has been coaching for 17 years.

For him, it goes beyond teaching young players football or developing technical skills, it is about developing them as a whole. His coaching looks at developing players confidence, the way they perceive themselves and their aspirations both on and off the pitch. Lloyd’s players are not just part of a team but part of the ‘Residents’ family and his coaching give opportunity for growth for young people from challenging backgrounds.

How did you feel when you won this award?

As someone who used to play football, I’ve always had a love for the game. Unfortunately I was injured and unable to continue playing, but I didn't want it to hold me back and wished for my journey with football to continue, so I decided to become a coach.

Winning this award is such a great achievement as it shows my work within grassroots football is being recognised and it reminds me that taking the step to become a coach was the best decision I’ve ever made.

What are you excited for in the 2021-2022 season?

I’m excited to be providing a fun learning environment in which I can also mentor the players. Challenging them both mentally and physically and seeing the excitement on their faces when they achieve the goals they’ve set out in their individual development plans.

Additionally, I have a newly built website ( which for me is an another platform that current players, new players and aspiring coaches can use to get involved.

The website offers many features such as, insight into training and matches - via educational videos/snippets of sessions. Merchandise is also available to purchase- of which 10% of all profits made from sales are donated to Residents Coaching. These proceeds are put towards new equipment and facilities and the expansion of Residents coaching into different communities.

My goal is to influence and inspire everyone who joins the Resident’s family to be able to achieve whatever they set their minds to. - Football really is all about allowing everyone to elevate as a team and as individuals and my website is one way, I hope to achieve this.

What are the biggest challenges that you will face within the 2021-2022 season?

Being a coach is about understanding each player's individual needs and their ways of learning. No matter what the challenge we will adapt and overcome them as a team. That being said, I think the biggest challenge within the new season may be consistency of player attendance, as over the past year due to Covid restrictions we were unable to remain consistent with training and matches.

What is your biggest motivation for your role within grassroots football?

Watching the players develop both on and off the pitch drives me to be a better coach. Personally, I feel my role as a coach goes beyond winning matches. It’s about understanding how you can influence each player's life for the better. The fact that I get to see the positive impact that I have on the kids' lives as they grow as both players and individuals really makes coaching worthwhile.

The theme of Black History Month is Proud to be. What makes you proud to be a coach?

Being able to integrate children from all backgrounds is important to me. Society often dictates how a child will grow up and places limits on their success depending on their socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. This is a narrative I strive to change throughout my work as a coach- watching the players overcome life's challenges and knowing that they can achieve this through football makes me incredibly proud.

How do you champion equality, diversity and inclusion in your work?

Football should be inclusive of everyone and so children at all levels, experienced or inexperienced in football, are welcome. My aim as a coach is to develop every child into a player that they can be proud of.

As well as the players, providing opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds (especially those who are underprivileged and those who need to be rehabilitated back into their local communities), is important for me. A way in which I aim to achieve this is by creating jobs for young adults/aspiring coaches, helping them gain experience and get their foot in the door.

Whether as a player or a coach- everyone who has the potential drive to better themselves is welcome within the Residents community.

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