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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Patrick Graham

Football coach headhunted from Toxteth to Dubai

A football coach who worked in Toxteth was headhunted by a top training retreat in Dubai.

Dubai Athletic Performance is a training retreat for footballers who want to put in extra work and training during off season.

Connor Tagoe, 28 from Aigburth in Liverpool, a qualified professional football coach spent four weeks in Dubai training players from the English Premier League (EPL) Serie A, Belgium Jupiler Pro League and more.

Over the last two years he qualified as a UEFA B footballing coach, the second highest award available. Connor has played football since he could first kick a ball as a toddler.

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Connor told the ECHO : "I was headhunted by Dubai Athletic Performance. Football players, in off season, go into the performance centre and train. It's where Real Madrid's Karim Benzema trains.

"Players go there for performance training and extra work to keep them ready. With them I did shooting practice, short passing, ball control and attacking work and more”.

Connor Tagoe (L) and Nicolas St-Maurice discuss training tactics in Dubai (Image: Connor Tagoe) (Connor Tagoe)

Working with over 40 players he partnered with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema’s trainer, Nicolas St-Maurice, who helped players with their fitness. Players included Yoane Wissa of EPL side Brentford, Amir Rrahmani of Italian club Napoli, captain of the Kosovo national team and Adil Rami, part of the French 2018 World Cup winning team.

Aged five, Connor played for Mayfield in Sefton Park Liverpool and was soon picked up by Liverpool Academy. He left aged 14 and had a spell at Manchester United's Academy until he was 17. After, he played for various clubs in the Welsh League and the English National League before moving to Lithuanian side FC Vilniaus Vytis in 2020.

Due to the Covid outbreak, this was interrupted and he came back to the UK. Connor said: "I decided I wanted to help develop kids, giving them opportunities in the local area. I started out helping with Kingsley Utd (in Toxteth ).

Connor Tagoe (R) takes players on a run including Napoli player and Kosovo national team captain Amir Rrahmani (C) (Image: Connor Tagoe) (Connor Tagoe)

"After six months I set up my own coaching organisation, Vision Football Development Academy (Vision FDA), with business partner Rob Bersantie”.

They have a boys and girls academy and coach children aged four to 18. What he likes most, Connor said: "The impact we have on the city. Diversity of different communities coming together on the one pitch. All the kids get treated equally no matter what background they're from”.

Leaving school without gaining any GCSEs, Connor said: "When at school I was with Manchester United thinking I’m going to be in the Premier League. I wish I would have paid more attention and given myself more of a chance to understand school.

Connor Tagoe gives a team talk to youngsters of his Vision Football Development Academy players (Image: Connor Tagoe) (Connor Tagoe)

"I was football crazy, but probably one of my regrets is not working hard in school. For any youngsters out there my best advice would be if you're in football or in school put 120% in both and give yourself the best chance to achieve".

After his coaching took him as far as Dubai, in the near future, Connor will sit the UEFA A coaching badge to gain the highest level award available.

For information on Vision FDA training visit or Instagram vision_fda

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