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Coaching Science MRes supervisors

Michael Ayres headshotMichael Ayres

Michael Ayres is a Senior Lecturer on the Chelsea Football Club Degree programme having held the position of Programme Director for the last three years. For the last 15 years Michael has worked in a professional capacity with a Category One Premier League Football Club Academy. Michael's multidimensional professional, academic and research background has resulted in him being appointed in various coaching and organisational development consultant roles for a number of government organisations and European professional rugby clubs.  

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Michael's research interests are representative of his broad range of experiences. His previous and current research projects have utilised a multidimensional and mixed methodology approach to organisational culture, values and learning in high performing environments as well as coach and player development pathways. In addition, Michael also continues to engage in his own research as a practitioner examining the effects and impact of modification and tactical complexity in decision making and technical development of invasion game players. 

MRes project areas 

Michael would welcome discussions on possible research projects on the following areas 

  • the impact of organisational culture, values and learning in high performing environments, 
  • talent development pathway for players and coaches 
  • modification and game representativeness on tactical and technical development

Joana Fonseca headshotJoana Fonseca

Joana is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Coaching degrees at St Marys University. Currently she works across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including MSc Performance Football Coaching, BA Chelsea FC Coaching and Development and BA Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development. Joana is currently concluding a research project focused on how sport coaching students learn and develop their professional identity during an academic coach education course.

This research aims to offer an assessment of ‘quality’ pedagogy, not only in terms of what we teach students, but also how and why. This opens a fundamental discussion about the purpose of coaching education and what undergraduate sport coaching students should know. The purpose of this work is also to better understand the complexity of the student identity development process, focusing less on what and how to coach, and more on ‘who is coaching’.

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  • Coach Education
  • Coach Identity
  • Social Interaction and complexity in the coaching context
  • Qualitative research methods

MRes project areas

Joana would be interested in speaking with MRes candidates who share an interest in development of coach knowledge and expertise. Research on the complexity of coaches’ interactions with the complexity of the coaching practice are desirable, however she is open to work with any innovative topics of research related with sport coaching role.

Liam McCarthy headshotLiam McCarthy

Liam is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching at St Mary’s University, working across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, including: MSc Performance Football Coaching, BSc Coaching Science and BA Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development. Liam also holds a position on the National Coach Developer Academy (NCDA) in Tokyo, and is a member of the United States Centre for Coaching Excellence committee as sole international representative. Liam is currently undertaking a large-scale project with the English Football Association (the FA) to evaluate their coach education provision (what works, for which coaches, where, how and why?). Previously, Liam has led a major national Higher Eduction Funding Council for England (now, Office for Students) project to explore coach education in a Higher Education context. 

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Liam’s research falls into the broad area of coach education and development, an emerging area of study. His research has involved understanding and explaining how coach education and development programmes contribute to coach learning, with a specific focus on assessment. Liam’s research is mostly concerned with exploring coach education and development with a critical realist research philosophy. 

MRes project areas

Liam would be very interested in speaking with MRes candidates who share his passion for coach education and development, specifically those who have worked in professional positions concerned with developing policy, programmes or people (i.e. National Governing Bodies, professional sports clubs). Liam would be interested in working with MRes candidates who have a desire to evaluate coach education and development programmes, using realist evaluation.

Claire Mulvenna headshotClaire Mulvenna

Claire is a Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Physical Education at St Mary's University, working across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including MSc Performance Football Coaching, BSc Coaching Science and BA Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development.

Claire is currently undertaking a research project on the use of performance analysis in football and working with several football clubs on the effective implementation of performance analysis within coaching practice.

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Claire's research interests fall under the broad area of the role of the coach and a coach's engagement with sport and exercise science. Her research has involved identifying a coach's role in addressing the motivation of soccer players and investigating a coach's role in the development of life skills. Claire's research predominately focuses on exploring coaching practice with a qualitative methodology.

MRes project areas

Claire would be interested in speaking with MRes candidates who share an interest in focusing on how coaches engage with sport and exercise science or those who wish to investigate the role of the coach further.

Maeve Murray

Maeve is a Lecturer in Physical Education and Sports Coaching at St Mary’s University. She is a member of the lecturing team for the BA Hons Physical Education, Sport and Youth Development Programme. Maeve is a former Head of Physical Education and has extensive teaching experience as well as curriculum development, middle school management and examination preparation.

She is a Subject Advisory Panel member for Physical Education/ Sports Science and the Active Leisure Industry GCSE and A Level Examination for CCEA, Northern Ireland. Maeve is also a former Coaching Convenor and Netball Northern Ireland Board member as well as a Head Coach of Academy Netball for Netball Northern Ireland.

Maeve has recently completed a research project measuring and defining motor skill competence in youth including a validation of a revised motor competence assessment for adolescents.

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Maeve’s research is predominantly focussed in youth physical development, physical literacy, fundamental movement skills (FMS) and physical activity. She is also actively interested in broader Physical Education research areas including secondary level teaching pedagogies, factors affecting quality Physical Education provision in schools and factors impacting pupil Physical Education participation in school.

MRes Project areas

Maeve would be interested in developing MRes projects with potential candidates who would like to investigate childhood and adolescent levels of motor competence. She would also be keen to speak with candidates who share an interest in Physical Education research.

Katrine KrygerDr Katrine Okholm Kryger

Katrine is a lecturer in sports rehabilitation at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Katrine collaborates with multiple FA Men’s Premier League, FA Women’s Super League and National teams. She is also member of FIFA and UEFA expert panels to steer women football research and to support the coaching education programmes with female specific content.

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Katrine’s specialist areas are:

  • Football medicine (male and female)
  • Technology in football (male and female)
  • Football boot research (male and female)
  • Women’s health

MRes project areas

  • Designing football boots for the player (fit, comfort, performance demands)
  • Female football health
  • Female football coaching education on health
  • Football injury – defining and proactive research