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One Of EAFA’s Longest Serving Members, Tim Pattenden Departs After Five Years

Writes: Edward Perry

Tim Pattenden is leaving the England Amputee Football Association as he steps down from his role as Head of Performance Psychology after five years of service.

Psychology is an integral part of the sport, with each individual having their own story, but it’s Tim’s expertise that has instilled the culture associated with England and impacted upon the team's International success.

“For me, the whole experience of working with EAFA has been about the players. I love working with the players and the players are really important to me,” Tim said.

However, Tim recognised that without the staffing team around the squad, his job could have been much different, he said: “The staff I’ve worked with, specifically working with Owen [Coyle], Scott [Rogers], Andy [Rohman] and Libby [Aitcheson] - they’re just amazing people and I’ve been really fortunate to be associated with them.”

It’s thanks to Head Goalkeeping Coach Andy Rohman for Tim’s association with the charity, with Rohman having known of his expertise in Sports Psychology and before long, Tim was down at the Home of Amputee Football.

Across the last five years, Tim has experienced highs and lows with various players and staff, however, he has always had one goal. Identity.

“I was fairly new in terms of just coming out of my training and the group were new to sports psychology. It was a bit of trial and error,” Tim said.

“The first thing that I started working on was the culture and the team identity - we worked on understanding our core values, what we were trying to go after and what success looked like for us. The branding and the graphic design was all an evolution of that identity that we created.”

"It was all about trying to get the players to be more focussed on making gradual progress and being obsessed with the process as opposed to being obsessed with winning and outcomes.”

Tim lead a pre-match meeting at the European Championships 2021 - Image: LAJ Photography

Tim has seen the progression the players have made first hand and although he is departing the EAFA set-up, he’s confident the foundations currently in place will only see that continue, “I think the players development is just incredible.”

“I think people really underestimate our players, they see them as a young team. But they don’t actually realise that most of these players have now done, they’re young players but they’re also quite seasoned and experienced. I think the future is really bright. Really exciting.”

But it is working with the players that Tim will miss the most about leaving the EAFA, he said: “Probably the hardest part of leaving is that I’m not going to work with the players, that’s a really difficult decision to have made and a really hard thing to walk away from.

"I don’t really know how to answer other than I just think that they’re incredible human beings and I’m going to miss being with them.”

Tim recounts England’s historic Nations League victory, the team’s first major trophy since 1990, “It's going to have to be the Nations League, that was an unbelievable experience.

“One of the big markers for this team when I got involved with the head coach then (Owen Coyle Jr) was to be able to beat Turkey. England lost to Turkey in the 2017 European Championships Final and that was something we’ve been working towards.”

“So to go to the Nations League, play against Turkey and beat them, play against Poland and beat them and play against Spain and beat them. It was just the perfect ending for me. I probably should have left after that!”

Tim holds aloft the inaugural Nations league trophy - Image: Jake Kirkman

However, it’s not the complete end for the long-standing servant, who in fact would love to still have some involvement with the charity from afar. In the meantime, the EAFA family would like to thank Tim for his outstanding contribution to the charity and we wish him all the best in his future plans.


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