From Professional Football Player to Youth Development Phase Lead Coach: Jordan Tait’s Football Journey So Far

As a player, Jordan Tait learned under some of the most famous managers in the game. Now the former Newcastle United and St Johnstone midfielder wants to pass on that knowledge to the next crop of emerging youngsters as he looks to progress his own coaching career.

Tait came through the ranks at St James' Park where he developed under the watchful eye of legends such as Kenny Dalglish, Kevin Keegan, Ruud Gullit and Tommy Burns, aswell as hugely respected managers John Carver and Alan Irvine.

He went onto enjoy a successful playing career in both England and Scotland before turning his hand to coaching at clubs such as St Johnstone, St Mirren and Hamilton Accies, as well as with the Scottish FA where he helped oversee the progress of Scotland under-21 stars Lewis Smith and Alan Forrest.

Now Tait is installed in a key coaching post at another football giant in the north-east of England as one of Middlesbrough's Youth Development Phase lead coaches.

It is a vital role and one that is already bearing fruit with the club's under-16s finishing as runners-up in the prestigious Ateitis Cup in Lithuania last year.

Youth player development is seen as a major priority at Middlesbrough with Tait responsible for helping facilitate a pathway that runs all the way from the academy to the first team.

The Riverside club have a well-deserved reputation for giving youth players a chance, with manager Jonathan Woodgate handing 10 Academy graduates their first-team debuts this season.

Middlesbrough is considered one of the elite clubs in European football when it comes to youth development making Tait's role a vital one as he helps prepare and guide the next crop of talent to emerge along the conveyor belt.

And the diverse position also sees him manage and develop other coaching staff, ensure all documents and data are kept up to date, while also providing detailed feedback to the parents or guardians of his players.

He explained: "My role is to design, develop, coordinate and lead coaching for teams and individuals in the youth development phase.

"That means having responsibility for implementing technical and tactical training sessions in line with the club's philosophy.

"I also assist other coaches throughout the age groups - including the professional development phase when needed - to cultivate a supportive environment that facilitates progress through a clear player development pathway.

"I feel fortunate to be working in such a fantastic environment at Middlesbrough that helps brings out the best in the young talent we have at our disposal but also gives coaches an opportunity to thrive and develop too."

Tait, who has also gained beneficial transferable skills as a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach and former police constable, has also been busy gaining his coaching badges, something especially important when working with children and young adults.

As well as his UEFA A and B licenses, he has also studied for and gained a number of other important qualifications that gives him a well-rounded understanding when it comes to meeting the demands of youth player development.

These include his UEFA Elite Youth A License, FA and Scottish FA Youth Modules 1 -3, and FA Psychology for Football Level 3 - 5 Awards. He also has a sports science diploma and is currently working towards gaining his FA Advanced Youth Award.

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