Jason Euell on Football Black List nomination, being a role model and impacting change

Jason Euell was “One To Watch” on the Football Black List in 2016 and this year has been named in the coaching and management category.

The Addicks’ U23s coach is one of two members of the Charlton family to be named, with the club’s Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Dr Michael Seeraj, named in the community category

Euell said: “To be recognised in terms of what I am doing and being appreciated for it and giving back, helping out, feels great. A few years ago I was on the ‘One to Watch’ list, which again is always good to be recognized. To be nominated in coaching and management is even better for myself now.”

The Football Black List, founded in 2008 by sports journalists Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds, highlights positive influencers from the Black community in the sport.

“It is just really showing people that are inspiring black people, male and female,” Euell explained, “in areas of the game from community, to social, to being on the boards, on the training fields, literally across the board and showing the influences, that we, as black people, can do. It is trying to make change, affect change and inspire. It is trying to inspire that next generation and give them a helping hand in that career choice, if it is in football but within whatever department that may be.

“It is a celebration of black peoples’ achievements. It is very well documented about the lack of colour in boardrooms and on the touchline. It is a celebration of the people that want to make a difference, want to make a change, want to keep climbing the ladder so they can make changes from the bottom or the top and people supporting each other. Even though it is called Football’s Black List, it is not just about black people, it is about every colour because it is being supported by a lot of people and there are a lot of people that want to help and make and build change.”

Euell has looked up to many former players, both from a footballing perspective but also their moves after football. He now considers some of those former players friends but explained he wants to do for others what some of his heroes have done for him.

He said: “Being as a One to Watch and seeing those people [ahead of me] and seeing where they have gone and what they are doing, it gives me to give that platform to do the same with the area I am coming from at the moment, with development football and working with the national team.

“I enjoy it [being a role model]. Sometimes you don’t realise what you are doing on your day-to-day and on a matchday, others that are watching, you just don’t know. It is one of those things you don’t realise comes with the territory until you start hearing what people from your area start doing or taking note of what you are doing or how you conduct yourself.

“The players can look at what I have done, what I have achieved and you use that in helping them to fulfil their dream of becoming a pro in the game. If I can keep showing them what it is like, what it is about to become – that gives them the opportunity to become pros and also role models as well. I don’t think that they realise now that they are role models to the U9s and U10s who they pass at the training ground – that is who those rugrats look up to, thinking they want to be in the U23s. They don’t even realise it until you tell them.

“For me, I enjoy it, it is a way of trying to give that person or that player an opportunity of where they want to get to, it may not be in football, you may inspire them in different ways.” 

While he prides himself on being a role model, opportunity is one area where Euell is keen to see change. 

He said: “Where myself and a lot of other black coaches that have got qualifications, we’ve done the graft or apprenticeship on the touchline, the younger age groups, working your way up and getting your opportunity to sit in front of people. 

“Sometimes, you just keep seeing the same old people that are on the merry-go-round getting the opportunity. 

“We all know that the numbers don’t stack up, from those that are playing to the representation of those that are on the touchline. There are a lot of good black coaches around. There are people that are more than qualified to get the opportunities but just aren’t getting the opportunity to sit down and have that conversation.”

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