After 18 years of running The Soccer School, Dave Symons is hanging up his coaching boots.
The Soccer School running every Saturday at Glossopdale School has become an institution for the town's football where most young footballers have started their journey.
Dave has run over 800 sessions in this time where he and his dedicated team of coaches have delivered over 2,500 coaching hours.
His focus has always been on players enjoying the game, developing the fundamental football skills in line with the FA's best practice and helping them transition into teams at the club or other local clubs. In this he has made a huge impact to football in the community.
He has coached over 5,000 children in Glossopdale in his time, 100,000 players attending week by week from 3 to 13 years old.
Just as importantly he has provided a start to over 120 young coaches journeys where many have had their first paid role and learned to work with young players, commit to coaching in all weather and develop important life skills. He is revered by all who have coached alongside him many going onto coach at Glossop North End Community Club and beyond.
Dave's presentations at the end of sessions where players are rewarded for their efforts have seen him present over 8,000 medals and certificates over the years.
Roger Clegg, Trustee said "Dave started a team from scratch at u7s and they soon became a side that produced fine free-flowing which matched Dave's own football philosophy. Unlike today's teams this team played home & away even at the small sided games on some very difficult grass pitches. Despite this the Glossop side coached by Dave soon became all conquering trophy winning side and whilst developing is key in Junior football this team managed both. So much so that the players successfully coached by Dave soon attracted the interest of local professional academies. This included Dave's own son who signed a contract with Oldham Athletic.Dave's passion for developing young players led him to set-up the clubs soccer school. The first session took place on Pikes Lane on a rainy windswept Saturday morning. Around 6 players attended but despite the conditions and the lack of facilities Dave adopted the original "if you build it, they will come" mantra and the rest is history."
Dave is retiring from his phenomenal commitment over many years to spend more time with his family.
The Soccer School will continue as normal and they hope to carry on Dave's amazing legacy.