Enlightened and ambitious, Beale has worked for Chelsea, Liverpool, Rangers and Aston Villa at every age group from Under-9s to first team – and he even broadened his horizons in Brazil
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New Queens Park Rangers boss Michael Beale began his coaching career in a room with a pew – and only three kids turned up.
Hiring his local church hall in Bromley for £32 an hour, with the chairs all pushed aside to make an indoor futsal arena, Beale had to absorb a substantial loss when there weren’t enough takers at £4 a head to make even a five-a-side team.
But Beale, whose sessions soon gained traction and caught Chelsea’s attention, went on to work with Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp before QPR persuaded Aston Villa to release manager Steven Gerrard’s highly-rated assistant earlier this month. Now one of the most enlightened home-grown coaches, who even worked for a season with Sao Paulo in Brazil – because he wanted to test himself abroad and learn a new language – is ready for the muck and nettles of the Championship at Loftus Road.
Beale, 41, said: “Yes, I started coaching in a church hall – I was always intrigued by futsal and the Brazilian soccer school way of teaching skills. But only three kids turned up to the first session, so I was at a massive deficit straight away.
“Back in 2002, it was £32 an hour to hire the hall and £4 a kid, so it wasn’t the best business plan at first, but fortunately it kicked on from there. It led to me being offered a job at Chelsea within six months because Damian Matthew, who is joining the management team here as one of my assistants, gave me my first job there.
“Within a year I was working with the Under-9s, Under-10s and I spent 10 years there in total up to Under-14s. I went to Liverpool in 2012 to head up the Under-15s and within two months I’d become assistant reserve team manager as well.”
After four years at Anfield, as part of Jurgen Klopp’s coaching staff, Beale took a gamble by moving to Brazil – and he regards it as “the best decision I’ve ever made.” Beale said: “My aim was always to work abroad and learn a second language. In my time at two big clubs (Chelsea and Liverpool), the foreign coaches who came in are highly-skilled human beings, not just football coaches, and speak different languages.
“Going through the two big academies and working up to Under-23 level, I was exposed to a lot of overseas players, so it was important to understand them. The opportunity to go to Brazil wasn’t a place I picked – it picked me. I went to work with an icon, Regerio Ceni – he is worshipped like Steven at Liverpool, he spent 24 years at Sao Paulo – and it was his first job.
“It was like a five-star football holiday, an unbelievable experience working with top international players.
“One name that’s familiar to everyone here, because he’s just won the Champions League, is Eder Militao. He was coming through the academy at the time, we promoted him and gave him his debut. I feel that I came back probably 50 per cent a better coach from having that experience. It took me to another level.”
Beale will meet his new Hoops squad on Wednesday when the players report back for pre-season training at QPR’s new Heston training ground.
He replaces Mark Warburton, who left Rangers at the end of last season, although director of football Les Ferdinand insisted: “Mark was not sacked – his contract had come to an end.”