Innovating

As every football coach knows getting the fundamentals right creates an open field for future success. In starting Skillz, Ashley combined his experience of professional football - including stints with Fulham FC’s academy and Chelsea FC’s foundation department - with a desire to create an environment in which children learn football in a fully supported and inclusive way. Today he is heavily involved in the planning and management of the programme and it's this attention to detail that has helped the club grow from 10 children to 550 members per week.

First Half

When asked what he is most proud of, Ashely replies 'Where the club has come from and it's growth.' The hard work in the early days paid off as Skillz professional reputation grew. Now, in addition to football classes for children aged 2-11, Skillz also runs holiday camps, birthday parties and nursery school programmes.

While manual processes - the use of clunky spreadsheets - saw the business through the early days, these quickly outgrew their effectiveness. The ability to manage contacts, register for next term and keep on top of payments began to take its toll.

'Chasing parents for money, constantly, updating excel spreadsheets and manually writing out registers was so stressful and time consuming.' said Ashley.

It was at this point that ClassForKids joined the squad.