Nottingham Forest Under 23s coach Chris Cohen has loved every minute of making the change to become part of the club’s academy.
The former midfielder hung up his boots at the end of last season and has enjoyed working with the club’s younger players throughout the campaign.
He said: “I’ve loved it. Obviously, the transition from being a player to a coach was earlier than I wanted it to be but in terms of do I love being out on the grass, do I love hopefully making players better everyday or helping them achieve the possible dream or get them closer to it, then it has been a great year for me personally.
“I love seeing how the academy runs; it has been 18 months since I started working properly and there are some great people. I can see why they have had the success over the years because of how hard they work, but also how intelligently they work which is the most important thing.
“You can work hard but if you don’t have the structure or philosophy then you won’t get the results at the end of it. Knowing what I know now, I am not surprised that Gary [Brazil] and the team have had the results over the last five years.”
The Under 23s had a decent season, finishing fifth in the Professional Development League table and reaching the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup.
As well as good performances on the pitch, Cohen has been happy with the way his own coaching has developed.
“I think gradually we have got better,” he said. “Jimmy Gilligan has come in and he has been brilliant for me to work with, I worked with him as a player as well. I knew him and he has let me have a lot of say and shot me down when he needed to!
“In terms of coming up with training sessions, tactical changes or substitutions he has helped me massively. Him and Gary have been brilliant for me.
“The highs, for everyone that comes to watch our team play, they know that by the end of the game they will have enjoyed an all-action display and a team that is putting in maximum effort week in, week out which is the starting point for a good side.”