Jack Hobbs excited to embark on new chapter with FCV Academy
Former professional footballer Jack Hobbs is settling into FCV International Football Academy life after joining as an assistant coach.
Hobbs will work closely with the current coaches at Grace Dieu Manor Park in developing the FCV Academy players, and transition into managing one of the FCV Grace Dieu teams.
The former centre-back played for various teams across England in a 15-year professional career after progressing through the Lincoln City youth system with fellow FCV Academy coach Shane Clarke.
At 19 years old he became the youngest player to have taken to the field in each of the top four English football divisions: Lincoln City in League Two, Leicester City in League One, Scunthorpe United in the Championship, and Liverpool in the Premier League.
Like several of FCV Academy’s players, Hobbs also played for his national team at youth level.
“Playing under-20s with England was a great experience for me,” he said. “I want to be able to pass it on to these boys so when they are called up to an international game for their respective country, hopefully it will give them an advantage or help them through that transition.
“I wasn’t the best player in my youth team at Lincoln, we had a couple of players that were more talented than I ever was, but I was certainly one of the hardest workers and I managed to have a professional career.
“The facilities they will have at FCV Academy are a thousand times better than those I had coming through, and they’ll be a lot better than some current professional clubs. With these and the coaching team, it comes down to how hard they want to work, how much they want to listen and learn, and how much they want to dedicate themselves to their career.
“The chances of becoming a professional footballer are very slim, so they need to make sure they give themselves every possible chance to make it in the game.
“We are going to try and improve them as professional footballers, but importantly, we want to develop them as people and try and instil the right values and philosophies that will take them far in life, whether that be in football or otherwise.”
Hobbs later played for Nottingham Forest and then finished his career at Bolton Wanderers having made more than 300 professional appearances since his Lincoln debut in 2005. He then started coaching at youth level with Lincoln before joining FCV Academy at the start of 2023.
In his first week, he has been familiarising himself with the players and staff and taking in what Grace Dieu Manor Park has to offer.
“I’m feeling more part of it every day. I’ve been getting to know the players and learning the routine and the way the rest of the staff work.
“There’s been some physical sessions following the Christmas break, and some of our teams have matches so we’ve been facilitating match prep for them by having other players train against them.
“It’s been varied and that’s good for the lads, exposing them to as many different aspects of the game as possible. There’s more players here than I expected, showing that FCV Academy is growing and popular, and they are all hungry to improve at football which is what you are looking for.
“Before joining, I spoke to Grant [Brown, FCV Academy head coach] and he explained everything that’s going on at FCV Academy and the growth vision, creating an environment that will develop footballers and develop better people and it’s very exciting.
“He has a great reputation in football so FCV Academy is in great hands with him, and he is someone I will be able to learn from along with Shane.
“It will be an incredible place to work and be a privilege to coach the players.”