Ex-Morecambe apprentice Lewis Edgar has returned to the Mazuma Stadium as an Under-9’s Coach following his release at the end of the 2020/21 season.
Edgar initially joined the Shrimps Academy at the age of 12, rising through the ranks to be rewarded with a two-year apprenticeship at the age of 16.
At the end of those two years, Edgar was not retained and instead decided to make use of the FA Level Two coaching qualification that LFE provides to all apprentices as part of their education programme.
Speaking about the importance of planning for life after football, Edgar told the club website: “It was one of my last days at the club and my coach at the time said to me, just as I was leaving, that if I ever wanted to get into coaching, they’d love to keep me around.
“It’s very important to have a plan B because if you’re only focussing on football and it doesn’t work out, you could become stuck. I was lucky enough to be offered a coaching role within the club.”
It was Morecambe’s lead professional development phase coach, Darren Finch, who offered Lewis the opportunity to pass on his footballing knowledge to the younger generation.
Finch, who previously worked with Burnley FC in the Community, believes Edgar has been rewarded for his attitude displayed throughout his time as an apprentice.
“He did really well for two years off the pitch with me. He had a good attitude, and I just felt that, because the lad [Edgar] had put so much into it, that he deserves a chance to still be involved in football at a pro club,” Finch said.
“Within the two-year programme, they do the FA Level Two, an FA coaching badge, so straight away, I thought in Lewis’ situation, he has the credentials there.
“ It’s something he looked forward to doing so I got in touch with Ollie Ras, the foundation lead, and it just escalated from there.”
Ras has been involved with the academy set up for four years, and he firmly believes that the experience and talent Edgar has will strongly benefit future youngsters coming through the Shrimps ranks.
“I think it’s really important,” Ras said.
“Lewis knows what it takes to get to that apprenticeship level, after coming in as a young 12-year-old looking to start his footballing journey. He really knows what it takes to get that scholarship at 16.
“Most kids are visual learners and to be able to have someone of Lewis’ ability level in the building to showcase what he can do as a young footballer, it can only work in the club’s favour with the little ones.”