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Meet the team

Brian Dawson – Copeland area manager

Brian Dawson

Brian has a proud history in the Sports Industry, starting off as a semi-pro footballer both in the UK with Barrow, Workington and Kendal Town then Stateside with the Wilmington Hammerheads of North Carolina. Brian has extensive coaching experience in the UK establishing Onside Soccer Coaching in 2004 and working for Carlisle United’s Academy system, he has also worked in the US for Smart Soccer and Seacoast United of New Hampshire.

Coaching Qualifications- Level 3 FA (UEFA B) Qualified, FA Youth Award, PE Level 3 Award, Multi Skills Level 2

Gavin Butler – South lakes area manager

Gavin Butler

Gav is very well respected throughout the amateur Football scene having represented numerous top local clubs including Dalton United, Vickerstown and Glaxo Ulverston Rangers where he is now the club manager. Gav has managed our Onside South Lakes region since 2010 and continues to develop fantastic partnerships in the borough, in addition to this he has developed a great reputation developing young aspiring Footballers through our Development Centre and Carlisle United’s academy system.

Coaching Qualifications- FA Level 3 (UEFA B) Qualified, FA Youth Award, PE Level 3 Award, Multi Skills Level 2.

Ray Sempill – Copeland Head Coach

Ray Sempil

Ray has been involved in coaching since the age of 13. By the age of 16 he was coaching a junior team and gained a Level 2 football qualification, he has coached for Carlisle United dev centre and Challenger Sports.

Ray joined Onside Sports shortly after he graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in Sports Business Management. He has been teaching PE in schools for the last 2 years. He has also recently enjoyed a summer coaching in Canada.

Rays coaching philosophy is to ensure that he provides a safe, fun environment for every child to learn new skills and improve their overall confidence.

Andrew Knowles – Copeland Head Coach

Andrew Knowles

Andrew is one of the longest serving coaches here at Onside, having been coaching and assisting for almost 8 years and joining the team permanently after finishing his Masters degree in Sports Coaching from UCLAN.

In addition to his work at Onside he has both worked and volunteered at Newcastle United, Preston North End and Carlisle United alongside his University studies.

Andrew has also been unanimously voted Onside’s best looking member of staff for the last 3 years running!

Coaching Qualifications- Masters Degree in Sports Coaching, Level 2 Basketball coach, Level 2 fitness Instructor, Level 1 in Football and Schools swimming teacher trained and is currently completing his Multi sports level 2 and PE level 3 awards.

Tom Wilkinson – Copeland Head Coach

Tom Wilkinson

Tom has had a keen interest in sport from a young age. Tom played football and cricket at a good level as a youngster representing the county side in football and also the barrow and district side in cricket.

Tom still plays cricket for the local cricket club Millom, but unable to play his loved sport due to serious injury.

Tom was asked to join the onside sports coaching team in 2013 and is enjoying his role as a coach in local primary schools.

Coaching Qualifications- Level 1 FA, PE level 3 award, level 2 multi skills and numerous level 3’s including dodgeball

Rory Moore – Copeland Head Coach

Rory has been involved within Sport and Physical Education for over 10 years, being a fully qualified teacher of Physical Education. Having worked in both state and private schools, along with experience coaching in America; she has extensive knowledge of not only sports coaching but the National Curriculum and behaviour management, alongside an outstanding track record of achieving results and success within both a sporting and educational setting. Sport is her passion, playing both netball and hockey, to a high standard in the counties premier divisions. She is an enthusiastic and driven coach, passionate about creating learning opportunities for all.

Coaching Qualifications- PGCE Physical Education, BA Hons Physical Education, British Gymnastics Trampoline Level 1, British Gymnastics Levels 1 & 2, England Rounders Level 1, Multi Skills Level 2, England Basketball Level , ECB Cricket Level 1, England Netball C Umpire, Safeguarding Children Certificate.

Tom Lawson – South Lakes Head Coach

Tom Lawson


Tom Heywood – South Lakes Head Coach

Tom Heywood

Tom is a very keen sportsman and sport has been a big part of his life from a very young age with Cricket and football being his two main sports. Tom played for Morecambe FC for 3 years before making his way in to West Lancs football and is a highly respected player in the area.

Tom studied a National Diploma in Sport at Lancaster and Morecambe College, then went straight into Coaching gaining great experience before joining the Onside team in 2013. Tom has a real passion for coaching which is clear to see and is a very popular coach with parents and children.

Coaching Qualifications- Awaiting assessment for level 2 in football. Level 1 in cricket. Level 3 in supporting pe in primary schools. Level 2 multi skills. Level 3 in sports coaching. Level 3 in sports development. Level 3 in sports in the society

Josh Gay – South Lakes Head Coach


Natasha Pearson – South lakes Head Coach

Natasha Pearson

Tash has been involved in coaching since the age of 16 and has a great passion to see children develop and enjoy sports. Tash is a very highly respected female coach in the area and is currently working with the Westmorland FA.

Tash played for Morecambe Ladies before taking up the role of the reserve team Head Coach. Tash has worked in America gaining great experience working for Chicago Fire.

Coaching Qualifications- HND Sports Coaching and Development, FA Level 2, Youth Module 2, PE Level 3 and Multi Skills Level 2.