Town Charitable Trust coach gains top coaching award
IPSWICH-based coach Duncan Wheeler has become one of the youngest holders of a UEFA B badge.
He is now 20, but was 19 when he passed the course, and he has already fitted a great deal into his coaching career.
He coaches at Ipswich Town’s Charitable Trust, who invested a significant amount of time guiding him through his qualifications, and runs Woodbridge Town Under-13 side and Ipswich Valley Rangers Under-14’s.
After realising that he was not going to make an impact in the game as a player he opted to go the coaching route.
Duncan passed the level one course when just 16, and since then has been to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and coached some of Holland’s top players.
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“When I was 17 I worked with deprived youngsters in the Favela shanty towns in Brazil,” he said. “I got to understand the foundations of World Cup- winning teams working with kids who couldn’t afford to go to school, and lived in virtual mud huts.
“They had been playing 10 hours a day from the age of four or five and the attitude and commitment of these youngsters has given me inspiration to work as hard as I can.”
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Duncan went on to watch Ipswich Town coaching session during Roy Keane’s time in charge and at the age of 18 he travelled to the Netherlands to complete the Dutch International Coaching License with their FA, the KNVB.
“I was the only English coach out of the 24 and learnt from the experienced coaches from over 20 counties,” Duncan added.
“I was given the opportunity to work with many Dutch clubs including Ajax, Vitesse Arnhem, Groningen and the Dutch national squad and their Under-21’s prior to a friendly against England in Amsterdam which I was a guest for.
“I believe I can achieve something coaching football as a career.
“It never feels like a job - it’s a passion and a hobby that I am lucky enough to get paid for.”