How to become a football manager: A detailed extensive guide

How to become a football manager: A detailed extensive guide

Claudia Kogi
updated at November 14, 2023 at 5:10 PM

If you find soccer intriguing, managing a team of players may be thrilling. In addition to inspiring a new generation of football players, this position allows you to oversee and grow a professional soccer team while making crucial financial decisions for football teams. Read on to find more information on how to become a football manager.

How to become a football manager
Famous football coach, Jose Mourinho, reacts during the Serie A TIM match between SS Lazio and AS Roma at Stadio Olimpico on 12 November 2023 in Rome, Italy. Photo: Ivan Romano (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Numerous soccer lovers desire to manage their team, and depending on your background and region, there may be several paths to accomplishing this objective. This in-depth guide will teach you clear steps to becoming a football manager in various areas, such as the UK, Europe, Ireland, South Africa, and Nigeria, regardless of age, experience level, or status as a former player.

How to become a football manager

Although there are many ways to learn how to manage a football team, managing a soccer team requires a specific set of skills. You can become pointed in the proper path if you diligently follow these steps:

Building a foundation in high school

Prioritise your education. Give your studies top priority even while you follow your soccer love. Gaining excellent leadership and communication abilities is essential for a manager.

To obtain practical experience, sign up for your school's local youth groups or squad. To learn more about the game, take coaching classes and seminars.

Getting started with no experience

To become a manager, you must have a coaching certification and a few years of work experience.

Can you become a football manager without being a player?
Manager Oscar Garcia(L) and assistant manager Manel Exposito(R) walk after the match between KRC Genk and OH Leuven at the Cegeka Arena on 12 November 2023 in Genk, Belgium. Photo: Plumb Images
Source: Getty Images

Obtain Certifications in coaching

Enroll in football associations' coaching courses. Having certifications such as UEFA B and UEFA A is a great way to get into management positions.

Volunteer or intern

Volunteer or intern with local clubs, schools, or community teams. Experience on the field is extremely valuable in the soccer industry. Over time, this position familiarises you with fundamental leadership traits.


Go to coaching conferences, seminars, and soccer games. Make connections with seasoned experts who can offer advice and possible possibilities.

Navigating the path without being a player

The most crucial step in pursuing a position as a manager is to get involved in professional football. So, your next move should be to become a coach.

Emphasise your coaching skills

Your leadership skills, tactical expertise, and coaching credentials are emphasised. Present your coaching background, even if it isn't from playing.

Show that you understand the game

Examine the sport's tactics, analyse games, and keep up with the most recent developments in the game. In the interview, be ready to talk about your tactical thoughts.

how to become a football manager Uk and Europe
Head coach Vincenzo Italiano gestures during the Serie A TIM match between ACF Fiorentina and Bologna FC at Stadio Artemio Franchi on 12 November 2023 in Florence, Italy. Photo: Gabriele Maltinti
Source: Getty Images

Becoming a football manager in the UK and Europe

In all cases, experience and insight into a particular field is paramount. This role can be exciting if soccer is your field of interest. Here are some tips to follow if you want to be a manager in the UK and Europe.

Attain the required guidelines

Acquire coaching licenses accepted by the Football Association (FA) or the European soccer governing bodies. For those looking to become managers, the FA offers coaching badges.

Start at lower levels

To obtain real-world experience, think about coaching young teams or lower-division clubs. Achieving success at lower levels can lead to higher-profile roles.

Keep up with the regulations

Become familiar with European and British regulations. It is essential to comprehend the nuances of league structures and club management.

Pursuing a managerial career in Ireland

Unlike other countries, becoming a soccer manager is not as hard as it might seem. For starters, you will have to obtain coaching certificates from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to receive FAI accreditation.

Secondly, ensure to interact with the Community of Local Football, whereby you will develop connections inside the Irish soccer community. Additionally, attend the local games, talk to the coaches, and look for mentorship programs.

How to become a football manager in Ireland
Thomas Frank, manager of Brentford, applauds the fans following the team's defeat during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield on 12 November 2023 in Liverpool, England. Photo: Alex Livesey
Source: Getty Images

Embarking on the journey in South Africa

Read on to learn how to become a legendary soccer manager in the South African soccer arena.

SAFA coaching courses

Enroll in the South African Football Association's (SAFA) coaching courses. Getting the required credentials is essential for success as a manager.

Recognise local soccer cultures

Learn about the distinctive features of South African soccer. Connections with local administrations and coaches may yield insightful information.

Becoming a football manager in Nigeria

In Nigeria, these are the steps you should follow to become one of the best soccer managers:

NFF coaching licenses

Contact the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to obtain coaching licenses. Advance through the coaching tiers to obtain more credentials.

Reach out to the local soccer community

Engage with the Nigerian soccer community and actively participate in local soccer events.

Advance up to become a soccer manager

You can obtain top-tier FA coaching badges with years of experience coaching soccer teams at various levels. You can coach elite teams after earning the highest FA coaching badge.

Additionally, you can apply for the position if you have what it takes to become an assistant soccer manager. It could be your last step before becoming a soccer manager.

how to become a football manager Uk and Europe
Steve Cooper, manager of Nottingham Forest, during the Premier League match against West Ham United at London Stadium on 12 November 2023 in London, England. Photo: Vince Mignott
Source: Getty Images

Frequently asked questions

In one of the most financially lucrative sports of all time, soccer managers often gain worldwide recognition. These are the most popular questions about the subject:

Who is the best football manager ever?

Pep Guardiola (Man City), Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid) and Luciano Spalletti (Napoli) have been listed by ESPN as the top three best football managers.

Can you become a football manager without being a player?

Well, having experience in a particular field is essential before taking up higher roles like managing. In the case of soccer, statistically, 99% of the coaches or managers have once cruised those balls before taking managerial positions.

Final word

Commitment, training, and real-world experience are necessary to succeed in becoming a soccer manager. You can achieve your goal by following the above steps and customising them to your unique situation, regardless of whether you are a high school student, have no prior experience, or did not play professionally.

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Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.
Jose MourinhoPep GuardiolaCarlo Ancelotti