"Mark and his team are professional, courteous and enthusiastic. They have a good way with children and are able to maintain control and entertain with a wide variety of games and activities. Our boys were very happy with their party."

- Adam Bass, father of twins Noah (pictured here with coach Sparky and a football signed by all his friends) and Samuel who had their 7th birthday with MoF in July '08

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Muswell Hill's Number 1 Football Development Programme



All MoF coaches are CRB checked with the English FA, and have completed the FA's Emergency Aid and Safeguarding Children training.



Ministry of Football is a small programme, run in a specific way to a particular philosophy. We do not intend to grow beyond our ability to provide a quality and unique service. Having said this, if you - HAVE OWN CAR/CAN TRAVEL, ARE RELIABLE/PUNCTUAL, CHARMING, EXPERIENCED IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT, CAN TAKE INITIATVE, HAVE CRB CHECK - then email a CV to mark@ministry-of-football.com


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The MoF programme is deliberately small. We pride ourselves on how well we do things. We will not dilute the experience or quality of what we do by expanding the programme beyond what can be delivered by experienced expert coaches who understand and teach in accordance with our philosophy. This page celebrates the teachers and coaches who make the MoF programme what it is.

Between our coaching team, we have thousands and thousands of hours of teaching and coaching experience. We are a diverse group, but here are some things that our Lead Coaches have in common.

  • We have all either studied for a sports-related degree, or have extensive experience in the management and leadership of top-quality football programmes.
  • We are all currently active in full-time or part-time study or professional development with the aim at improving ourselves as teachers of football.
  • We all believe passionately in learning through play, in game-based learning, and that football should be for everyone (not just the selected 'elite' best players).
  • We can all deliver high-active, high-tempo, child-centred, age-appropriate, inclusive, engaging sessions where learning is built from one session to the next. 

To enquire about joining the coaching team, please scroll to the bottom of the page for information.

Mark Carter, Director & Lead Coach

Mark directs the Ministry of Football programme, which he started in 2007 after returning from several years coaching, teaching and learning abroad.

Mark worked as Director of Junior and Youth Coaching at the biggest football club in New Zealand. He also coached international age-group players and coached youngsters on National Academies, and ran Level 1 and 2 coaching courses on behalf of the national FA.

More recently, Mark has coached 7-14 year old boys and girls at Watford FC Academy and Centre of Excellence. Mark is qualified to UEFA B level, and has completed the FA Youth Coaches Award. He has also completed FA Psychology in Football Level 5, and was a football pundit on Setanta Sports until 2009. He completed his FA Youth Module 3 assessment in June 2011. He has Futsal Level 1 and 2 qualifications also. He is an FA Tutor and delivers the FA Level 1 and 2 courses.

Mark is a qualified English language teacher and secondary school English teacher with experience of teaching adults and children in various schools across the world. He is also a qualified and experienced consultant Statistician, leading data projects for large clients such as Royal Mail, Network Rail, the Care Quality Commission and Medical Research Council. As well as coaching football, Mark has written reports for the government on the development of Gifted and Talented children.

Mark works as a school sport and PE consultant, and is currently working with the Future Zone primary schools in Islington, London, to identify strategies to improve the quality and quantity of PE and sport they offer their pupils. Mark has been an active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, and contributed to their 2016 report on PE.

Mark's full-time work is as a Regional PE Co-ordinator for the FA, working with clubs, Universities and schools to support teachers and develop coaches to deliver better physical education in schools.

Mark's all-time favourite famous coaches are Brian Clough, Bob Paisley and Pep Guardiola. His favourite all-time players are Diego Maradona, Peter Schmeichel, Eric Cantona and Matt Le Tissier.

Read more about Mark


Pete Samways, Lead Coach

Pete is orginally from Brighton where he coached on Brazilian Soccer Schools.  He moved to London in 2009 to study a sports science degree at London Metropolitan University. In 2012 he completed his dissertation on 'the psychological benefits of self-selected motivational music during submaximal exercise'.

Pete is former Head Coach at the Little Foxes club in Kensington, managing and delivering fun football-based programmes with children as young as 18 months. Pete is our expert coach for our youngest age-groups.

Pete has completed his FA Level 2, FA Youth Module 1 & 2 and Futsal Level 2. He is currently studying for the FA Youth Module 3 qualification. Pete's full-time job is as a Football Development Officer in Islington. His focus is to help develop young female players and coaches in the borough.

Pete's favourite player of all time is Ronaldinho. The Brazilain superstar inspired Pete to try and play the game for fun and in imaginative ways, and was a great role model for him as a young player.


Chris Abel, Lead Coach

Chris grew up in North London and first started coaching with Arsenal FC after taking his Level 1 qualification whilst at university. His coaching with Arsenal involved coaching grassroots, development centre and academy children in London, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. This also involved scouting for the Arsenal academy.
Chris is currently a level 3 coach after taking the UEFA B course in 2014 and completing the FA Youth Award in 2013. He is also a qualified referee, has completed FA Psychology in Football Level 3, Futsal Level 1 and Goalkeeping Level 2 in addition to the AfPE Level 3 award.

Chris coached in America for UK Elite before returning to England to work for Fulham FC, coaching in schools and teams, and completing the FA Youth Award with the Fulham academy in 2013. He then worked for the Football Association as a Skills Coach specialising in the Foundation Phase (5-11 year olds).

Chris currently works for Arsenal FC, and is a tutor and coach mentor for the Football Association. His favourite players are Dennis Bergkamp, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi.


Shaun McCarthy, Lead Coach

Shaun has over 10 years coaching experience with children aged from 18 months - 14 years.

Away from MoF, Shaun works full time for a children's sports coaching company called The Little Foxes Club. His current role is Coach Development and Recruitment Manager, overseeing the development of over 100 coaches. He also works with Foxes FC U9's delivering weekly training sessions and managing the team during tournaments.

Shaun is FA Level 2 qualified and has completed all 3 FA Youth Module Awards. Shaun plans to complete the UEFA B course by 2017.

Shaun supports Nottingham Forest, one of the few teams ever to win back-to-back European Cups.


Michele Merlino, Lead Coach

Michele is from Barcelona, although he supports Real Madrid! He brings important experience of teaching in Catalunya to our programme. We recognise that people who were schooled in different cultures can help us to question how we do things, and we find Michele critically and respectfully challenges the way we work.

Michele has completed the FA Youth Module 1, and has worked in coaching football to children since his arrival here in London. In addition, Michele has worked in several primary school PE and sports companies, gaining valuable insight into education in UK.





Dylan Diallo, Lead Coach

Dylan works with our youngest age-groups.









Pat Sisupalan, Lead Coach, Futsal Club

Pat is our Lead Coach for the Futsal Club, and plays Futsal in the national league for FC Enfield. Pat was one of the first in the country to study for a UEFA B Licence in coaching Futsal and has completed the FA Youth Award and UEFA B for football.

Pat teaches Science, PE and Sport in a local secondary school and has previously coached in the Barnet FC Academy and on the Spurs Development programme. Pat believes in the Ministry of Football programme and methods and his son is really enjoying learning to play at the MoF Sunday sessions.

Pat's favourite players are Brazilian Ronaldo and Luka Modric.



If you want to get involved with coaching as part of the MoF team, please send your CV to Mark Carter:


We espeicially welcome applications for work from coaches who live locally who are available to work on the dates and times that we run our sessions (see SESSIONS page of website).

Successful previous applicants have been able to demonstrate a good understanding of game-based learning; expert behaviour and group management skills; and a willingness to learn and work as part of a developing team and programme. However, we would also welcome coaches who want to develop some of these skills and who are willing to assist in sessions voluntarily in order to contribute to the programme and to learn from the current MoF coaching team.


All MoF coaches are CRB checked with the English FA, and have completed the FA's Emergency Aid and Safeguarding Children training