Who We Are?

Coaching Director Sam Bass

I am the Play Beautiful Coaching Director and I founded Play Beautiful Football Academy with the simple mission to help young Australian players to discover the ‘Beautiful Game’ themselves.


I have dual English / Australian nationality and I moved to Brisbane from Brighton, England. Where I played at my college under Coach Steve Gatting (current Arsenal U16 Academy Coach) for three years.

I wanted to bring what I learnt playing and coaching in England to Brisbane as I believe there is nothing more joyous than watching a group of 6 year olds play a game of football.

The notion that my efforts as a coach could have a positive effect on someones life either inside or outside soccer is an especially rewarding experience that has driven this idea from its inception to its current success in Brisbane.

If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you?


The Problem that we found in Brisbane in 2013?

I noticed with the introduction of games consoles, the internet and instant messaging the habits of school children have changed significantly over the last 15 years with. Nearly gone are the days where a child plays outside at the park until it gets dark.

This change has had a significant affect on the development of healthy young people and key football skills. Whilst technology has jumped ahead Football coaching has remained largely unchanged since the 1950’s with the same very direct drill based methodology and no interaction that todays generation crave.

Football development training is traditionally taught in a very structured and repetitive manner. This can develop technique but it takes all the fun and passion out of football and this is the one thing that football really needs to compete with all the other entertainment out there such as video games. Football is almost certainly the the worlds greatest multiplayer game but at every level it needs that fun and passion!

Play Beautiful is the first coaching service to provide exactly this experience, turning boring football training into a real life video game.

Our ‘Play Beautiful’ Solution?

The ‘Play Beautiful 50’ curriculum gives players the opportunity to unlock 50 levels of badges by learning new technique, tricks and skills.

These 50 skills are divided into 10 levels one for each of the five football fundamentals ball control, turning, dribbling, passing and shooting. Each level can be taken home and practiced and then demonstrated at the next training session to ‘level up.’

What makes this approach so successful?

Development:  Junior football has developed such a strong focus on winning at all costs that development often ends up taking second place. Video game style levels naturally shifts the focus to the individual player and their development.

Exciting: Children are naturally competitive so by introducing levels to player development, young players quickly become excited about football when they know they can show off the new skill they have learnt at training and ‘level up.’

Motivating: The Play Beautiful 50 levels provides a clear path of progress and a great historical chart of progress. Players no longer have to motivate themselves with their own goals and they are able to look back proudly at their achievements and recognise how far they have come.

Quantity: Play Beautiful encourages play whenever possible outside of the academy to help develop the player. The idea of Play Beautiful 50 is to encourage the players to enjoy learning new skills within and outside the academy.

Learning Environment: Looking at the popularity of video games, it became obvious to me that young players want an exciting experience that they can interact with. Levels create this excitement to enjoy football development training.

By making football more interactive, more focused on development, more exciting and more motivating we hope to continue to achieve our mission!

Play Beautiful.