Following the completion of my undergraduate studies in Edinburgh, in August 2014 I began a year-long placement at Arsenal FC on their Gap Year Programme. This involved spending an initial five months in London as a youth-development football coach working in schools around Camden, Islington, and Hackney, followed by two 3-month international placements. My training included achieving my FA level 1 coaching qualification and FA Youth Award Module 1, as well as FA accredited courses on coaching disabled football players, emergency first aid, and child safeguarding. My first international placement was at an Arsenal community project in Israel, and involved coaching in local schools and holding community sessions in the Northern town of Akko. With a clear division between its Jewish and Arabic populations, Akko was a unique environment to run cross-cultural community sessions, with the aim of breaking down cultural differences through the enjoyment of football. As well as the in-school and community sessions, my coaching partner and I also held a weekly session for disabled players. For my second international placement, I was sent to Vietnam to coach at the Arsenal Soccer School in Ho Chi Minh City for 3 months. This involved a much more intensive approach to coaching, as I individually trained and managed an U14, U10, and U8 team several times a week. Being a manager of a team was a huge learning curve, and involved constant decision making, as well as learning and harnessing individual players’ unique strengths and creating a focused, positive environment during tense competitive matches. During my placement, I also held two community projects. One was leading sessions for young players from the local Mai Am orphanage, and the second was a 6- week leadership programme for students at Renaissance International School Saigon.