In our ‘Getting to know you’ series we will be introducing the coaching staff from the club’s youth development set up.
These are the coaches who will be looking to develop youngsters coming up through the youth section, to prepare them for senior football and provide a pathway towards the first team squad.
Peter Sanderson - Foundation Phase Lead
Peter Sanderson is a Level 1 coach who during the 2019-20 season coached the under-eights Castles team in the youth section of the club.
By day, the 36-year-old is a sales support manager for Wartsila UK Ltd. He started playing football as a youngster for Castle Royals back in 1993.
From the age of 16 onwards, he played for Portsmouth Royal Navy, which is now known as United Services. He went on to play for Bishops Waltham and Alton Town and is now playing for the AFC Portchester Veterans team.
Peter’s role as the Foundation Youth Phase Lead will see him work closely with coaches at the club to implement a playing and coaching philosophy for the under sevens to under-12s age groups, which will help develop players technically, socially, physically and physiologically.
Peter explained: “I will also work with the club and coaches to produce a training syllabus for 5v5, 7v7 and 9v9 playing formats.
“We will encourage all existing and new coaches within the Foundation Youth Phase to follow the philosophy and training syllabus.
“I will act as a mentor to all the Foundation Youth Phase coaches, offering advice and assistant if required. I will be available to attend training sessions or games at the weekend when time permits.
“I will also be the voice of all the coaches in this Foundation phase and raise any concerns or ideas to the club.”
Peter got into coaching when he volunteered to take his son’s team and he enjoys being able to spend quality time with his son and help coach and develop youngsters not just to play football but life skills as well.
He added: "I think at this age you’ve got to remember you have a big influence on these boys or girls, which at first you don’t realise, so there is a responsibility that comes with coaching.
“It is very rewarding and being a coach in football has helped me in my normal day job.
“I am a big believer in sharing ideas, and I have built up good relationships not just with coaches within AFC Portchester, but with other local grassroots coaches, where we seem to bounce ideas off each other.
“I have personally made a lot of new friends by becoming a coach and I enjoy the social aspects it brings.”
Speaking about the new development structure being implemented across the youth section of the club, Peter said: “When I first put my hand up to become a coach for an AFC Portchester Youth team, this setup didn’t exist and like most of us, we were pretty much left to get on with it and work it all out ourselves.
“I want to make sure that any new or existing coach gets the support they need, as without the volunteer coaches grassroots football would not exist.
“With this new setup I believe the club is going in the right direction and the club are linking the first team philosophy all the way down to the Foundation phase, which means better chances for the club to get promotion to a higher league, which will bring better training facilities and more opportunities for our youth players to break into the first team.”
When he is not coaching or playing football, Peter enjoys running and he is attempting his second marathon this year, to help raise funds for Brain Tumour Research and his “local hero”, Harry St Ledger.