Ben Osborn on his coaching journey

Ben Osborn very much splits opinions among the Sheffield United fanbase. His quality output isn’t always the greatest, but his energy levels and work rate is exceptional.

Throughout his time with the Blades, Osborn has played central midfield, left-wingback, right-wingback as well as a left winger, making him the ultimate utility player.

But did you know the 29-year-old is already deep into his football coaching journey?

Osborn studied for his FA Level 2 coaching qualification when he was just 17 years of age. This was mandatory as part of the Nottingham Forest youth set up; in order to earn a professional contract with the Reds, you had to pass the coaching course.

“Once I had managed that, and was playing regularly for Forest, I started thinking about coaching again. I was in my early 20’s, and I was interested in dipping my toe into coaching.” [Coaches Voice]

The midfielder then began to undertake a UEFA B licence at the age of 23, but due to moving from Forest to the Blades it was a delayed process – eventually completing the coaching badge by the time he was 26. His next step was to study for a UEFA A licence, and unsurprisingly, he was the youngest person on the course at the age of 27.

Osborn mentioned how helpful Paul Heckingbottom and Jack Lester have been to him:

“They push me to get better at coaching, and they definitely make me want to go further with it. They [used to] let me take the academy lads for training.”

Getting involved in advanced coaching levels has benefited Osborn on the pitch; his awareness and understanding of the bigger tactical element is second to none. He explained, “My coaching has helped me on the pitch as well, I’m sure. I’ve found myself not only noticing things that I’m doing wrong, but also recognising how I could solve problems, too.”

“There have been times when I’ve lost the ball early on in a game. Normally, I wouldn’t really think about it. I might just think I’m not having the best game.”

With the knowledge that he has picked up from his coaching badges, Osborn can be somewhat of an on-pitch coach during games. And if you watch him during United matches, you will notice he is constantly communicating information and coordinating his teammates.

“There are also times when I’ve noticed space on the pitch that, as a team, we need to cover better, or that we could try and exploit. I’ll happily call a teammate over to tell them when that happens, too.”

Osborn used to regularly talk tactics with Billy Sharp when he was still in the dressing room. The Sheffield United icon also had a UEFA A licence under his belt.

“I get a lot of enjoyment from conversations I’ve had with Billy Sharp. He has done his A Licence, and we [talked] about the things we [thought] the team needs to do better.”

Ben Osborn will make the trip to his former club Nottingham Forest on Friday evening, where his coaching aspirations began. But the only aspirations he’ll have at the City Ground is to travel back to Sheffield with points on the board.






Tags Ben Osborn Interview Sheffield United