Mike Ford

Manager

  • Date Joined: 9th June 2021
I am a highly-ambitious and driven UEFA A Licence coach with a wealth of experience in senior football management, having taken charge of clubs at Steps 2, 3 and 4 in a coaching career spanning more than 600 games; I have a strong work ethic and I am proud of my record as a Manager, not just in terms of promotions gained but also in fostering a positive mindset and spirit of togetherness in dressing rooms and in helping players fulfil their potential.

My core values of hard work, dedication, commitment and professionalism are at the heart of my coaching philosophy; working within very strict and limited budgets at all my clubs I have achieved a win ratio of 45 percent and have led four successful promotion campaigns, gained through play-off victories, and in which I have built up an enviable record of eight successes and no failures in them.

I have well-developed communication skills, honed not only in a successful playing and Managerial career but also as a Sports Lecturer for the Active Learning Group at Banbury College, having completed a teaching degree at Oxford Brookes University in 2015; as with my coaching career I believe it is essential to continually develop, evolve and learn new skills.

Football Philosophy:

I have a clear vision of how I wish my teams to play. I want to see attractive, skilful and patient possession-based football, but this can only be achieved by many hours of hard work, practice and discipline on the training pitch. This is where formations and shapes are developed, where we analyse and decide when to press, where we work on set-pieces and tactics, and where we build a culture of camaraderie, team spirit and togetherness. Match days are when the hard work and disciplined preparation hopefully bear fruit.

I also want my players to be passionate about their club. They should recognise that clubs are often the lifeblood of their communities and I want them to form a connection with the supporters and to always represent the club in a professional manner. At Banbury United I borrowed a model that the British Lions use, by having the numbered strip presented to each player before the start of the season. The message is that ‘this is YOUR number, wear it with pride, represent the badge with courage and fortitude, and if you want to keep it then work hard to do so’.

Testimonials:

“My first memory of Mike was during my first professional year as a footballer at Cardiff City FC. I was a naïve, impressionable 21-year-old boy who had never lived away from his family. I needed a senior player to take me under his wing and guide me through this daunting stage of my life. Mike became my captain, mentor and friend who not only helped me on the pitch but showed me what it took to be a top professional off the pitch too. Since I left Cardiff and moved on with my career we have always kept in touch, with Mike always on the other end of the phone for advice and guidance. I received a request recently from Mike to take one of our U23 players on loan and I had no hesitation in recommending this move to the player and to Aston Villa. I knew Mike would look after him well and the player could not speak highly enough of his experience. He was properly coached and guided through this part of his journey into the men’s game. I have nothing but gratitude towards Mike. He gave me the tools required to deal with all the ups and downs of professional and I would have no hesitation in putting our young elite players in Mike’s capable hands.” - Mark Delaney: Aston Villa FC U23 Coach, former Cardiff City, Aston Villa and Wales internationalist

“I had the pleasure of working with Mike when I was Manager of Oxford United, and he was my captain for over five years. In over 1,000 games as a Manager, Mike was one of the best leaders I have ever come across - he was an inspirational figure both on the pitch and in the dressing room and always had strong motivational and leadership qualities. Mike has a passion for the game and was always tactically aware and eager to learn. It was no surprise to see him develop as an excellent coach and Manager.” - Denis Smith: Former Sunderland AFC, West Bromwich Albion FC, York City FC and Oxford United FC Manager

“I played under Mike for a year and it’s safe to say it was the most successful of my career so far. Speaking tactically and technically, it was a joy to play for him in a non-league environment that rarely encourages such traits. There was a clear direction and philosophy that was spread from Mike to coaches and to all players, and the trust Mike instilled in myself and the others to play the way he wanted was refreshing. Mike also put together a leadership group that would weekly be a part of coaches’ meetings in order to make sure that the key messages were being portrayed back to the rest of the dressing room which worked really well. On a more personal note he understood my physical needs by allowing me to come in to see physios on training days and occasionally taking me out of games to ensure I would be fit towards the end of the season and not miss key parts through niggling injuries which of course in a demanding non-league environment is crucial to maintaining a healthy balance. In the years that followed our time together, Mike has always looked out for me and tried to help further not only my career but also my brother’s. As a man and a Manager I can’t speak highly enough of him.” - Connor Roberts: Scholar and ex-player at Northampton Town FC

“I have known Mike for 10 years having first worked with him for Premier Sports Group where we both conducted FA Level 2 and NVQs to schools and colleges. It became very apparent after a short time that Mike is very easy going and professional in his approach. He has a lot of professional experience and he brings this to every session. He is very good at organisation, management of the learners, observation of coaching and communication. I later worked as 1st team coach at Banbury United FC when Mike was Manager and this allowed me to see how he put all the FA coaching information into action. His ability to talk one on one with everybody was impressive, he consistently showed his quality in dealing with discipline and other club matters and his attitude was always first rate. His leadership was the only reason we achieved promotion in our first season, and I benefited immensely from his counsel and support, both professionally and personally.” - Michael Byrne: Lead Youth Development Phase Coach, Forest Green Rovers FC

Player Development:

One of the most rewarding aspects of football management is seeing players you have coached make their progression to higher levels in the game. I have worked with many players who have gone on to have successful careers in league football and take great pride and delight in having played a part in that success. Players include:

Sam Ricketts: Youth player at Oxford United who went on to play in the EPL with Hull City and Bolton and won 50 Welsh caps.

Dean Whitehead: Young Oxford United player who captained Sunderland in the Premier League.

Simon King: Youth player at Oxford United who was sold to Gillingham for £350,00 and played in the Scottish Premiership with Inverness Caley Thistle.

Jason Mooney: Arrived on loan from Wycombe Wanderers and after a season at Oxford City, won a move to Tranmere Rovers as first-choice goalkeeper.

James Clarke: After more than 150 appearances for Oxford City, the defender subsequently developed a successful league career at Bristol Rovers and Walsall.

Key Skills & Competencies:

Self-motivation: A self-starter who brings energy, dedication and commitment to his roles in football and education and whose enthusiastic personality helps generate a positive response from all those around him.

Communication: Confident communicator with the ability to pass on instructions clearly and concisely, a skill honed in a long and successful career as player, coach and Manager, as well as in a college environment as a Sports Lecturer.

Leadership: Experience of leading from the front, keeps a calm and clear head when under pressure, and has highly-developed leadership and mentoring skills.

Integrity & Loyalty: Trustworthy and honest, his loyalty is evidenced by the fact that his entire league career as a player was spent at just two clubs, Oxford United and Cardiff City, where he was held in high regard by both sets of fans.

Planning & Organisation: Demonstrates ability to multi-task and maintain a clear focus, delivering detailed and structured coaching sessions and training drills.

Forward-thinking: Quick to embrace and adapt to new techniques and innovations. Has a clear football ideology and enthusiastically imparts this to players.

Perseverance: Meets challenges head-on and is tenacious in seeing them through to completion.
Budget Control: Has solid experience in working within limited budgets, and a proven track record in helping clubs to punch above their financial weight.

Talent identification: Adept at recognising potential in the current and next generation of talent, and uses years of experience in coaching to help young players to progress through the ranks.
Mike Ford

Qualifications/Accreditation

  • Welsh National Coaches Conferences: Annual Attendance

    Welsh National Coaches Conferences
    Annual Attendance
    2021

  • ILM Diploma: Management & Leadership Level 3 (Pending)

    ILM Diploma
    Management & Leadership Level 3 (Pending)
    2021

  • DBS: Certificate

    DBS
    Certificate
    2020

  • The Football Association: Safeguarding Level 2

    The Football Association
    Safeguarding Level 2
    2020

  • The Football Association: Coach Educator

    The Football Association
    Coach Educator
    2015

  • The Football Association: Level 1 Goalkeeping Award

    The Football Association
    Level 1 Goalkeeping Award
    2015

  • UEFA: A Licence

    UEFA
    A Licence
    2015

  • The Football Association: Youth Module 2

    The Football Association
    Youth Module 2
    2015

  • The Football Association: Youth Module 1

    The Football Association
    Youth Module 1
    2015

  • Oxford Brookes University: PGCE Teaching Degree Level 6

    Oxford Brookes University
    PGCE Teaching Degree Level 6
    2015

  • UEFA: B Licence

    UEFA
    B Licence
    2012

Career History

  • Banbury United FC

    Banbury United FC
    Manager
    2015 – 2020

  • Oxford City FC

    Oxford City FC
    Manager
    2009 – 2014

  • Oxford City FC

    Oxford City FC
    Assistant Manager
    2006 – 2009

  • Bedford Town FC

    Bedford Town FC
    Player / Coach
    2006 – 2006

  • Brackley Town FC

    Brackley Town FC
    Manager
    2004 – 2006

  • Oxford United FC

    Oxford United FC
    Player / Youth Team Coach / Assistant Manager / Caretaker Manager
    2000 – 2003

  • Oxford United FC

    Oxford United FC
    Player
    2000 – 2001

  • Cardiff City FC

    Cardiff City FC
    Player
    1998 – 2000

  • Oxford United FC

    Oxford United FC
    Player
    1988 – 1998

  • Cardiff City FC

    Cardiff City FC
    Player
    1984 – 1998

Key Achievements

  • As a Manager, took charge of all 1st Team duties and responsibilities including team selection, game analysis and tactical decision-making before and during matches
  • Banbury United FC: Managed the club in over 250 games, winning promotion from Step 4 to Step 3 via the play-offs in first season, despite operating on a substantially smaller budget than many rival clubs
  • Banbury United FC: Led the club to finishing league positions of 6th, 7th and 9th in Step 3
  • Oxford City FC: Joined as Assistant Manager before being appointed Manager three years later, had over 250 games in charge
  • Oxford City FC: Gained 2 promotions during this spell, with the club rising from Step 4 to Step 2 (Conference North)
  • Oxford City FC: Enjoyed two FA Cup runs before budget cuts presented serious financial problems
  • Bedford Town FC: Joined the club as Player/Coach and provided a strong and professional link between the dressing room and management, helping create a unified and professional attitude within the group
  • Bedford Town FC: Gained promotion, again via the play-offs, from Step 3 to Step 2, guiding the club into Conference South
  • Brackley Town FC: Took charge in over 100 games, instilling a more disciplined approach and creating a new, structured training regime
  • Brackley Town FC: Led the team to a 6th place finish in first season in a Managerial role
  • As a player, made more than 550 appearances for two clubs as left-sided midfielder and full-back, scoring 36 goals, in a career spanning 18 years
  • Key Managers worked under: Dave Richardson, Alan Durban, Mark Lawrenson, Brian Horton, Frank Burrows, Denis Smith and Malcolm Shotton
  • Banbury United 2 Alvechurch 1

    Puritan Player

  • Mike Ford 17 08 2019

    sportsshotsorguktv

  • Mike Ford 19 01 2019

    sportsshotsorguktv

  • Mike Ford 23 03 2019

    sportsshotsorguktv

Mike Ford News

Use your social media logins to access your Sport Careers Agency account.

Or click here to complete our online registration form.