AN Accrington football coach didn't need Dutch courage when he wowed Ajax bosses with his top-notch training programme.
Charlie Jackson, 37, and businesss partner Tahir Khan, 36, set up the Matrix Soccer Academy last summer where they follow their own innovative coaching programme, which they dub the 'Football Technical Development Matrix'.
It aims to help budding young stars become top technical players by sharpening up their soccer skills - and a number of local youngsters who followed the programme have gone on to Premiership Academies in the North West.
And now Jackson has got the attention of the Dutch football masters Ajax after he impressed Academy boss John Van Den Brom with his ideas during a trip to Holland.
And Van Den Brom returned the compliment by asking the pair back to try out their ideas on the pitch later this year by coaching six to 18-year-olds there.
This will be done under the watchful eye of former Dutch internationals, including ex-Manchester United ace Arnold Muhren and ex-Nottingham Forest striker Bryan Roy.
Jackson said: "They asked us back to share and exchange coaching ideas and philosophies.
"Naturally, we see this as a major coup, not only for our soccer academy, but also for the development of football in this country."
Jackson, of Blackburn Road, Oswaldtwistle, was Skills Development Coach at Manchester United for six years and is currently Blackburn Rovers' Academy Advanced Technical Skills Development Coach as well as Director of Football at Moorland School in Clitheroe.
His business partner, Khan, also from Accrington, said: "Two years ago we realised that other countries were producing great technical players and we were not.
"We realised they were playing football differently abroad from how we play here.
"We devised our programme which has six stages to it, which are like building blocks.
"We teach the youngsters a range of skills like controlling the ball, passing and dribbling.
"It is a unique idea which has been very well-received. There is nothing else quite like it."
The pair are now looking for their own venue - they currently use facilities which include the JJB Soccer Dome in Blackburn - to host their football programme, which currently has 50 youngsters signed up to it.
They are also planning further trips abroad to help them see what skills European stars bring to the pitch.
Anyone who wants more information about the Matrix Soccer Academy should either ring 07973 528250 or visit the web-site www.matrixsocceracademy.com .