Lowe reaches coaching nirvana
Maurice Lowe, the Southampton Rangers technical director, has reached the pinnacle of his profession as a coach by becoming the second Bermudian to earn a Uefa A Licence coaching certification.
Having failed his assessment last November, the 36-year-old former Dandy Town defender returned with determination to Britain last month for a second crack and was successful in fulfilling a longstanding ambition that began in July 2010.
His final examination was sat at the newly built National Football Centre in St George's Park, Burton upon Trent, the training base for the England senior team, the 23 national squads below them, and also the home of the Football Association's educational department.
“My achievement is the culmination of many people's belief and investment in me,” he said yesterday. “Travelling to England for professional development is an expensive undertaking, however I prefer to do my coach education this way so that I can be totally immersed in a football environment.”
With the distinction, Lowe is now qualified to be a first-team coach for England, any of the 20 teams in the highly popular Barclays Premier League, or in any of the major leagues in Europe.
Shaun Goater, who emigrated to the United Kingdom late last year, was at least a month ahead of Lowe in earning his qualification.
The next step up for Lowe is the Pro Licence, which would qualify him to become a manager or head coach at the highest level, where dealings with the media and player agents take up more time than thought imaginable.
The A Licence is for coaches who are, or intend, to be working in 11-a-side football within the international, professional, semi-professional and elite girls or youth programmes. It is the highest practical coaching award available and builds on technical and tactical content covered in the B Licence course or the other recognised equivalents.
While proud of his accomplishment, Lowe is the first to admit that his success is not his alone. He said: “I would like to thank my parents who have loaned me the money to finance my dreams, my wife Cheynika, who has made countless sacrifices, my employer, Warwick Academy, for allowing me time off from work while on international duty, the Bermuda Football Association, which started me on the path via my international licence, the Bermuda Athletic Association for loaning me the money for part one of the course and Southampton Rangers for funding part two of the course.”
Lowe plans to return on that investment in the local game for the foreseeable future. He has coached at he senior level at BAA, Bermuda Hogges and with Southampton in the Premier Division.
While he enjoys coaching at the senior level, Lowe's passion is working at the youth level, prompting the launch this year of a youth development programme called “Southampton Rangers FUNdamentals”.
The aim of the programme is to develop character through physical literacy and fundamental movement skills that will allow children to participate in a variety of sports and to self-select a sport and a level to specialise in.
• Southampton Rangers FUNdamentals will be operating a summer camp from June 30 to August 29. For more information, contact Maurice@srfundamentals.com.