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Chris Ramsey is in control

STAYING HUMBLE: Despite his achievements, Chris Ramsey say his success hasn’t come without hard work

WHEN Chris Ramsey shared with this correspondent that he was to be a recipient of an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for Services to Football and Diversity in Sport, the manner of the man was typical.

He downplayed the achievement and was his normal affable self. However, those in and out of the game know that he more than warrants his royal appointment.

Ramsey, QPR’s head of coaching, joined the club in 2014 as academy manager and went on to take charge of first team affairs before being appointed technical director in 2016. He was named head of coaching in 2018.

Prior to his time with the R’s, Ramsey spent two decades as a player before managing England U20s. He also enjoyed more than 10 years working in Tottenham’s academy as well as being first team coach at White Hart Lane.

ACHIEVEMENT: Chris Ramsey coaching

He told the Voice of Sport how he nearly missed his appointment at Buckingham Palace. “It was a shock. When I read the letter I did not think it was true.

“To be honest I only had about an hour to send it in!”

Throughout his career Ramsey, who played in the 1983 FA Cup final for Brighton against Manchester United at Wembley, has been ably supported by his family. And he’s as delighted for them as much as himself.

“I’m happiest for the people that have been on the journey with me. They’ve seen it and supported me. The cliché ‘no man’s an island’ is so true. People help you and you help them. It’s a proud moment for me and the family. Trying to keep it a secret from them for a few weeks was difficult though. It’s all worked out well.”

Ramsey is rightly one of the most respected coaches in Europe. His CV is far more impressive than a good few coaches in the Premier League.

In 1998 he began working for the Football Association (FA), holding the position of regional director of coaching.

While working for the FA he served as the head coach of the England national under-20 side.

During his tenure as the U20 coach, Ramsey guided the team to the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria. He was also the assistant coach of the England national under-16 football team at the 2000 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship in Israel.

In addition to his coaching responsibilities while at the FA, Ramsey was a scout for the England national football team under Kevin Keegan.

After leaving the FA, Ramsey was the assistant coach at Luton Town until November 2000. Ramsey holds a UEFA coaching licence and a FA Coach Education Diploma.

He has also plied his trade in the Unites States and from 2001 to 2004 he managed American club Charleston Battery, during which time the club won the 2003 USL ALeague championship.

His hope is that his recent recognition gives hope to aspiring coaches and managers.

“I think the award should be a boost for all coaches. I was part of a generation where there were no bursaries or assistance,” said the Football Black List awardee.

“It’s important that people stick to their beliefs but listen to people in and around them as well. My advice would be to keep working hard because you can’t move forward without hard work and grafting.

“I’m hoping that I’ve made the path easier for those coming through. And it’s not just me that’s done it, there are lots of coaches out there doing the work.”

Ramsey was quick to point to the achievements of the likes of Alex Dyer and Stephen Reid who are coaching the senior Scotland squad and Terry Connor who is doing the same with the Republic of Ireland.

“They’ve all taken things to another level,” admits the QPR man. “Progress has been made but it has been painfully slow. There are coaches better than me who are not getting their just deserts. There aren’t many coaches in top jobs and it just highlights the fact that there needs to be change.”

Ramsey’s west London club are a perfect model in terms of nurturing young talent who go on to make the breakthrough to the first team. Legend Les Ferdinand is the man behind the Rs master plan in his role as director of football.

TEAMWORK: Chris Ramsey with Les Ferdinand

Ramsey said: “I’ve got arguably the best job in the country as technical director at QPR. I get to coach every team at the club. I wouldn’t rule out coaching first team football again but I’m enjoying the job that I am doing as it maximises my strengths.

“There’s longevity based on what Les has put together which means that young players come through.

“QPR is a work in progress. We don’t attract the best young talent to start with but what we do is provide a diversity of coaches with the likes of Paul Hall, Andy Impey, Paul Furlong and Eddie Munnelly.

“We have four great coaches working with the kids. The coaches are not employed because they are black, they are employed because they are good. We have had a lot of debuts. Six players from the academy played in the last few games of the season.

“We employ the people that can do the job and I am fortunate to be working with them.

“Les is a great mate of mine but he’s also a fantastic professional.

“The award shows that I am talented in my own right. I’ve been fortunate enough that he has been able to showcase that for me and allow it to be seen. I’ll always be grateful for that.”

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