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Former Manchester United and Cambridge United midfielder Luke Chadwick joins the Football Fun Factory

Luke Chadwick has become the new head coach at the Football Fun Factory. Picture: Football Fun Factory (16974167)
Luke Chadwick has become the new head coach at the Football Fun Factory. Picture: Football Fun Factory (16974167)

Luke Chadwick will be leaving professional football after more than 20 years to become the new head coach at the Football Fun Factory.

The 38-year-old former Manchester United midfielder will be departing his role as youth development phase lead coach at Cambridge United to branch out of the pro game for what he describes as a “different and exciting challenge”.

Chadwick met Football Fun Factory co-founders James Cutting and Jonny Martin at the U’s, when they were working at the club in the Regional Development Centres, giving him his first coaching role in football.

“I went to do a podcast with them, and they were talking about what the vision and ethos is of the company and what they wanted to get to,” he said. “It was really refreshing to hear a different way of doing it.

“It was all about fun, about more personal development than just football development and as much participation in football from the youngest possible ages.

“From your first experience of football, it’s something that you fall in love with, so any ability, boys or girls, can come to the sessions and we try to make it as fun and enjoyable as possible.”

Chadwick, who other professional clubs included West Ham and MK Dons, will be the head coach of the Football Fun Factory in South Cambs and Hertfordshire, and will also take on a role as director of community growth to identify and recruit the best possible coaches to join the organisation.

In a full circle, Chadwick’s first event will be back at his old school, Melbourn Village College, from where he left to head to Old Trafford and a life in the pro game.

He is hosting a taster session on Friday, October 4, followed by a holiday camp on October 23 and 24.

“It’s going to be completely different as since I left school all I’ve been involved in is professional football,” he said.

“It’s something we’re quite passionate about, making football fun and having that longevity.

“I think if your first experience in football is a good one then it tends to keep you involved for a long period of time.”

Chadwick admits that it was a difficult decision to leave the U’s, although he will be staying in a
part-time capacity.

“Both my children are involved in the academy at Cambridge and if it weren’t for them, then I wouldn’t be able to do the role anyway as I would never see them,” he said.

“It is quite demanding, time-consuming long days that lead into the evening.

“This is something where I can do some coaching, give something back where I learnt how to play football in the local area and spend more time with my family at the same time.”

For more information on The Football Fun Factory, visit thefootballfunfactory.co.uk.

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