‘We obviously did something right’: the club that gave Kobbie Mainoo his start

Steve Vare, coach at Cheadle & Gatley, on the early football days of the midfielder pushing for an England starting spot

“He said his first club was Cheadle & Gatley,” says Steve Vare, who beams with pride at being Kobbie Mainoo’s first coach at the grassroots club based in Stockport. “I’m not saying in any great shape or form that we’ve made him the player he is today, but what we did do was give him the start in his footballing life. We obviously did something right.”

Mainoo is with England at Euro 2024 at the end of a breakthrough season in which he made a memorable cameo in his international debut against Brazil and was one of the bright spots in a disappointing campaign for Manchester United, culminating in his goal in the FA Cup final against Manchester City. But before his rapid rise to domestic and international stardom he began his career at the football school Vare ran for seven years.

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