Chris Smith

Elite Football Coach & Coach Educator

  • Date Joined: 8th November 2016
A proactive, motivated and highly qualified professional football Coach and Coach Educator who possesses over 21 years experience in the game and has a clear understanding of the environment that must be created at a club in order to promote continuous progression. Has developed a strong philosophy on how the game should be played and recognises the need for a modern game model, coaching curriculum and education framework to enable players and coaches to achieve success both on and off the pitch.

Combines strong professional qualifications with extensive experience on the pitch to deliver as a Senior International Academy Manager and Coach Education Tutor. Played a leading role in the redesign of the Scottish FA’s coach education programme and is now implementing a coach education strategy within Celtic FC’s International programme, helping to engage, inspire and develop the next generation of creative coaches at our partner clubs across the globe.

An intelligent and self-aware professional with excellent contacts within football at both club and national level. Possesses a strong and transferable skillset incorporating excellent leadership, communication and people management skills to offer himself up as an invaluable resource across multiple disciplines.

Focus Areas:

- Long Term Player Development - Coach Education - Technical/Tactical Coaching
- Person Development - Club Development - Curriculum Development
- Programme Management - Performance/Match Analysis - Talent ID/Player Recruitment

Key Skills & Competencies:

Leadership: Experience of leading a strategic vision and successfully implementing it with a team of staff. Understands the importance of developing a culture of excellence within an organisation and always leads by example.

Knowledge & Experience: Significant semi-professional playing experience, combined with a completed Bachelor’s degree, Scottish FA/UEFA Coaching Qualifications and full time employment with the National Governing Body, I have developed a strong understanding of the game and all its facets. Well positioned to progress in such a fast-paced & competitive industry.

Philosophy: I have a clear philosophy on how the game should be taught with an understanding that it will differ depending upon the age of the players and the stage of their development. Based around two core strands, ‘Developing the person’ and ‘Developing the player’ with core attributes that underpin both strands.

Education: I understand the importance of coach education and how to engage and inspire coaches to take control of their own learning and development. The better the coach, the better the learning environment for the player.

Communication: I am a confident and effective communicator who utilises interpersonal skills to work closely with both players and coaches in all aspects of the game. Very approachable and friendly personality.

Planning & Organisation: Recognises the importance of strategic planning in order to manage and prioritise workload. Comfortable managing several projects, associated budgets and members of staff at the same time.

Adaptable: Consider myself a versatile professional who is able to adapt to varying industry targets and frameworks. Able to work equally as well with recreational players/grassroots volunteers rising to professional players/coaches who are part of the professional game.

Initiative: Is able to make quick, effective decisions using own initiative and by assessing the situation; through use of own reasoning can breakdown problematic scenarios to arrive at timely conclusions.

Professional Development: Ambitious and constantly looking to progress and enhance overall skills and capabilities within the game. Open to an opportunity to work abroad to further broaden my experience both personally and professionally

Additional Information:

- Scottish FA role restricted me from working with professional clubs until Oct 2019

- A keen sports and fitness enthusiast

- Has a passion for travelling, snowboarding, cycling, crossfit, rock climbing and golf

- Possesses a full UK Drivers Licence


“I have worked with many experienced coaches and Chris is one of the best I have worked with. Within the Girls’/Women’s Performance Football Programme, Chris played a huge role in the development of some of the most talented players in Scotland at this age category. As well as providing the players with top quality training, incorporating tactical and technical components, his planning and delivery is of the highest standard and his attention to detail is excellent. In addition to his personality, man-management skills, professionalism and enthusiasm, Chris’ accurate evaluation and analysis has had a positive impact on our players.” - Shelley Kerr: Former Head Coach, Scotland Women’s National Team

“I have known Chis for over 10 years within my various roles at the Scottish FA. I have watched him progress through our coaching pathway and he has embraced every challenge put in front of him to achieve the UEFA coaching licences he now holds. He continually challenges himself when he is coaching and has a real thirst to learn. These traits coupled with his strong work ethic certainly contributed to being offered the role as Assistant Coach with the Women’s U17’s National Team. He is also an excellent coach educator and is able to both enthuse and educate all the candidates on the courses he delivers for the Scottish FA both at home and abroad. He is extremely diligent and very willing to help no matter what is asked of him and for these reasons I know he would be a fantastic acquisition to any club, team or organisation.” - Donald Park: Former Head of Coaching / Coach Education, Scottish FA

“I have known Chris for over 10 years. He has a huge passion for football and a passion for developing himself and others. I have worked with him to deliver Coach Education for The Scottish FA, and he shows confidence in his delivery. He also shows empathy in terms of the wide-range of candidates’ ability and experience on these courses. I have also had the pleasure of following his coaching career which has been intentionally varied to continually develop himself. He has remained open-minded throughout this and taken on every challenge with enthusiasm and determination. I am sure that Chris’ hunger for development of himself and others, will continue to see him add value to teams and organisations that he works with.” - Willie Kirk: Manager, Everton Women FC
Chris Smith


  • Scottish Football Association: Futsal Award

    Scottish Football Association
    Futsal Award

  • UEFA: Elite Youth A Licence

    Elite Youth A Licence

  • UEFA: A Licence

    A Licence

  • UEFA: B Licence

    B Licence

  • Abertay University: BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching with Development

    Abertay University
    BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching with Development

  • Edinburgh’s Telford College: HND Sports Coaching & Development

    Edinburgh’s Telford College
    HND Sports Coaching & Development

Career History

  • Celtic FC

    Celtic FC
    Senior International Soccer Academy Manager
    2020 – Present

  • Aspire USA

    Aspire USA
    Soccer Consultant
    2020 – Present

  • Scottish FA

    Scottish FA
    Assistant Coach - Women’s U17 National Team
    2017 – 2020

  • Scottish FA

    Scottish FA
    Opposition Scout - Scottish Women’s National Team
    2017 – 2020

  • Scottish FA

    Scottish FA
    U16 Girls Regional Performance Coach
    2017 – 2019

  • Scottish FA

    Scottish FA
    Assistant Coach - Mens National Futsal Team
    2016 – 2017

  • Wattcell FC

    Wattcell FC
    Head Coach
    2015 – 2018

  • Heriot Watt University

    Heriot Watt University
    Head Football Coach
    2013 – 2015

  • Scottish Universities Sport

    Scottish Universities Sport
    Scottish Universities National Team Assistant Coach
    2010 – 2013

  • Heriot Watt University

    Heriot Watt University
    U21 Football Coach
    2009 – 2013

  • Scottish FA

    Scottish FA
    Player & Coach Development Manager (South East)
    2008 – 2020

Key Achievements

  • Designed and implemented the Coach Education Framework for Celtic FC’s International Academy Programme including their first ever Coach Education Course
  • Assistant Coach Scottish FA Women’s U17’s National Team (Jun 2017 - 2020): Qualification to UEFA Elite Round 2018, 2019 and 2020
  • Head Coach Wattcell Futsal Club (Aug 2015 - Sept 2018): UEFA Champions League Qualification 2018, UEFA Cup Qualification 2016, Scottish Champions in 2016 & 2018, Scottish Cup Winners in 2017
  • International Coach Educator & UEFA B Licence Tutor for the Scottish FA with experience delivering in Scotland, America & South Africa (2015 - Present)
  • Assistant Coach Scottish FA National Futsal Team (Jan 2016 - Jun 2017)
  • Head Coach at Heriot Watt University (2013 - 2015): Promotion to the EOS Premier League 2015
  • Scottish Universities National Team Assistant Coach (2010 - 2013): Winning the BUCS Home Nations Tournament 2013

Chris Smith News

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