Disability football group “star” Jo Carrodus has taken her first steps on the coaching ladder by passing her FA level one qualification.

And she has already been asked to help out with coaching sessions for some of the most promising young footballers in the county.

Jo, who has Down’s syndrome, is a member of the Totnes and Dart­ington Football Club Disability Football group.

She has been playing with the group every week for the last 13 years, explained disability group spokesman John Callaway.

“Recently, she has become as much a helper and supporter of other players as a player in her own right and the group decided it was time she made the next step into a formal coaching role,” he said.

The course in April involved three full days of theory and practical work, with three evenings devoted to first aid training, safeguarding and a final assessment.

Jo also took a range of online training modules and completed a detailed journal charting her experiences and learning throughout the course.

John added: “Jo made such an impression during her course that she has been asked to help out with sessions at the Chelsea FC Foundation Football Academy based at South Dartmoor Com­munity College.

“She will be helping some of the most promising young footballers in Devon develop their skills and understanding of the game.”

After her final assessment confirmed her qualification, Jo said:” It was hard work, but I learned a lot. I am very proud to have qualified.”

Mr Callaway said: “Jo has been helping out more and more, so we knew she had what it takes to get this qualification. She is an absolute star.

“We would like to thank the Devon FA for their inclusive support which has enabled Jo to achieve this qualification. We hope she will go on to complete the FA disability coaching badge."

Totnes and Dartington FC Disability Football group meet every Wednesday at Totnes Pavilions, 6-7pm. The aim is provide opportunities for young people with learning disabilities to play football and have fun in a safe environment. Now Jo will be able to join the team of FA qualified coaches and take on some of the coaching responsibility. New players are always welcome.