The British coach, who once became the youngest head coach in Australia’s top division, discussed a lot of topics in an interview with Sky Sports.
On his ability to drive an airplane, the 36-year-old toldSky Sports
“They took me on this little plane and the guy up there sold me this package. Over a two year period I took 100 hours of lessons, six theory exams and flight tests. If I had known the work involved, I wouldn’t have approached it because it was substantial. “
After being identified by the
as one of the more forward-thinking football coaches,
started his journey as an assistant
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in the A-League.
His coaching career, which spanned half of his life, started at Oxford United at the age of 18. He continued:
“I did two part-time jobs. I taught college in Oxford when I was 21, teaching 16 to 19 year olds. It was my daytime show. At night, I worked in what was then a center of excellence. and now the academy. It’s enough for me to endure. “
His eye-opening experience at
was working as the first-team coach under the current Sheffield United manager,
“Once he came in he was completely clear but it was two years of traveling with him and spending time with him that I really saw him up close. His football knowledge is amazing but it is the way he manages the people he works with.
“He is very clear and very honest but the relationships he makes with the people around him are unbelievable. He trusts people and I believe that has been the key to his success as much as his football knowledge. It was fantastic timing.”
“At the end of four or five days, the person leading the audit pulled me off the record and asked me what I really wanted to do,”
“He has watched me with the youth team. I am also the head of coaching, overseeing the philosophy of play and coaching. I am the NVQ tutor delivering education to scholars in the afternoons and I am with the first team in the mornings.
“So I did four or five roles. It was a good exposure but when he asked me what I wanted to do, I honestly didn’t think about it, I just enjoyed the ride.
“I know my CV is very tough for a coach but one thing I don’t have enough experience if I want to be a head coach is that I don’t have a lot of experience managing people and staff, dealing with boards and budgets and those kinds of things.”
After that, he travelled to the other side of the planet to become New Zealand U20’s head coach.
“I don’t have a partner or a mortgage so it’s a chance to experience a new culture. I had a year with New Zealand football that gave me a managerial experience that I missed. Then I rejoined Wellington Phoenix because I missed training.”
, aged 31, he was younger than some of the first team players.
“The captain is Andy Durante, who is 34, and the goalkeeper aged 35. It’s about working with them rather than working for me. You can’t know everything, it’s about building relationships.
“I want to be the head coach, so I have to get the experience I want. That’s all I am looking for with the facilities, £ 7 million spent on the academy.
“Working with players at that level, almost in the Premier League, is an opportunity I can’t turn down. First-team players are going to fall and I’m taking a lot from it.
“As a youth coach at Oxford, I think I adapted my behavior to the environment. You go to the library and you keep quiet because that’s what the library is like. You go to weddings and that’s different. You behave the way you do, think you have to behave.
“I was put into the coach’s high performance accelerator program in New Zealand and it really lets you look at your character and behavior and analyze who you are. No one is a robot and it is only by understanding yourself that you can develop your values.
“It helps me build my football philosophy and principles. At Stoke, I can be myself and it helps me shape myself for a job in New Zealand where I can put it all together and show how I want everyone to work in the field.”
He stole the headlines when he led
to the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where after eliminating the
team, their adventure only ended in a penalty shootout defeat to
“It was my first real chance to shape something
“My belief is that the players in New Zealand are pretty good. What they need is a clear collective direction and collaboration, an idea of how we are going to work.
“When the final whistle sounded after the first game against Honduras and we won 5-0, it wasn’t just the result but the style of play that we turned upside down.
“The results will always be the benchmark and we are the first New Zealand team to win two consecutive World Cup matches and keep two clean sheets.
“But what’s really nice is that the internal size – ball possession, passing and the style of play we want to live up to – is also there.
“I hope this not only changes the mindset of the players in the country but can also be used as a sustainable blueprint for success due to the results we got after that with the New Zealand U23 team in Olympic qualifying.
“We are building a unique style in New Zealand and bringing players closer together because we reflect the environment,”
“We create an identity.”
“We have some incredible moves,”
“Sarpreet Singh moved to Bayern Munich to get a large sum of money from Wellington on the basis of what he can show in the style of football with New Zealand at the World Cup. He has now made his Bundesliga debut.
“We only brought three professional players to the World Cup, the rest were amateurs. The majority of them are now playing professional football behind him. So we got people to see what is happening in New Zealand football.”
His career in
ended when a new senior male coach looking to take control of the U23 team, leaving him out of experiencing
games with his side.
“We were so positive in our approach that we missed that opportunity, not only to go to the Olympics but to build on that success was disappointing. We are developing something.
“This is one of the few times you succeed in your job and end up losing it anyway, but unfortunately that’s the world we work in. I’ve been told that if you haven’t been fired in your coaching career then you’re not the right coach.”
On his meeting with the City Group, Buckingham added:
“I was invited to Manchester after we qualified for the Olympics to go and spend time with their staff. We have achieved a lot with these teams, doing things that have never been done before with a style of play that is very different from what is used to playing. New Zealand so they were really interested in the work.
“They share their ideas about the structure and plans of their club around the world. They are also building a coaching database to bring success in the short term, but hopefully also provide a long term path within the group.
“One thing about working for City Football Group is that you open up all this knowledge and research. I connected with other coaches throughout the group, there is an elite coaching developer based in Manchester and ideas are shared.
“You have access to people you normally don’t have access to, so it’s ideal to keep growing and continuing to learn.
“Skipping the Olympics is disappointing, but jumping into it puts me in a well-structured club that will give me access to new things that will help me get better. In the long run, City Football Group is a great thing to be involved in. in it.“