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Footie coach reveals behind-the-scenes of three weeks training Ted Lasso star – who had never played football

A FOOTIE coach has revealed the behind-the-scenes of his three weeks spent training a Ted Lasso star – who had previously never played football.

Samuel Cox is a coach in the Tottenham Hotspur academy, and serves as the captain for his national team Guyana, whilst also turning out for semi-professional side Welling United.

The 32-year-old came from the Spurs academy himself, but recently received a call from Warner Brothers that offered him a new twist to his career.

Samuel, from London, was requested to coach and star in Apple TV’s Ted Lasso, which sees actor Jason Sudeikis play the titular character, who takes over fictional Premier League club Richmond AFC.

Samuel was entrusted with coaching American actor Max Osinski, who plays the eccentric larger-than-life character of Zava – despite Osinski having no idea how to play the sport.

Video shows Samuel helping train Osinski as he explains: “Here’s a video of me coaching Max Osinski before he became Zava in Ted Lasso.

“Max had never played football before, so we really had to go through the basics of passing, receiving, dribbling and ball-striking.”

The clip then cuts to Osinski, who points at the camera and demands: “Future Max, I better see an improvement from this one today.”

Footage then shows Osinski slowly improving on his game amid dribbling and shooting drills as Samuel continues: “Week by week he started to show signs of progress.

“All sessions that we done were all geared towards the Ted Lasso scenes that Max would be performing as Zava.

“And, after three weeks of sessions, he was ready to go on camera.”

Footage then plays from the show of Osinski, as Zava, scoring from the halfway line before posing flamboyantly in front of the cheering Richmond AFC fans.

Samuel uploaded the video to social media on Thursday with the caption: “Coaching Max Rosinski before he became Zava on Ted Lasso.”

The video has since received over 169,000 likes and more than 460 comments from users left impressed by Samuel’s intensive coaching to get Osinski up to speed.

One user wrote: “You turned him into the goat.”

Another wrote: “Had me fooled.”

A third commented: “So you’re telling me there was absolutely no one with minor experience that was capable of filling the role?”

Another replied: “To be fair I could tell from the halfway line one that he wasn’t a footballer.”

A fifth said: “Why didn’t they just get someone who’s played before?”

Another joked: “No technique whatsoever.”

Speaking today Samuel said: “So I met Max initially off the back of Warner Brothers ringing me up and telling me that I’d be playing the part of Armando in Ted Lasso.

“They informed me of [Max’s] character coming into season three that’ll be almost like an Ibrahimovic or Cantona role, but Max had never played football before.

“He was coming over from Los Angeles so they asked me if I would do some individual 1v1 coaching work with him as he never played football before, coming from an acting background.

“After just a couple of weeks after being told that I’d be playing the part of Armando, I was asked to work with some of the guys, some of the cast from the series.

“I worked with the two goalkeepers that were playing for AFC Richmond and then once Max came over from LA I worked with him to try and get him to a competent level and enough to get him to look like he played football to allow him to play the role of Zava.

“With Max coming from a purely acting background and with no experience in football, it was like starting with someone from scratch.

“We had to go through the basic fundamentals of dribbling, passing, shooting and receiving and he was like a sponge.

“He was really professional with his approach and wanting to learn and that was how he started progressing so quickly, considering that he’d never kicked a ball before.

“Most of the skills we tailored to the specific scenes that we’d need like the headers and particularly getting that halfway line shot to look right.

“Often he would beat himself up and be quite harsh on himself because he wanted to do so well and bring the character to life but with the dedication, hard work and hours that we put in he got those core skills so that on camera it looked believable.

“Often sessions would last up to 2-3 hours sometimes.

“We’d spend the morning or afternoon working on techniques as well as how to walk, talk and get this character to life with body language and mannerisms.

“[We looked] back at Ibrahimovic and Cantona clips and looked at the swag and how they carried themselves off the pitch in interviews.

“The coaching happened about a month before filming started for season three so that gave us enough time to become competent enough for when the cameras were rolling.

“Watching the series back once it was released and seeing some of those scenes was amazing.

“I was so proud of him because I guess I played a part in that but also because I know how badly he wanted to bring this Zava character to life and make it a character for the people to enjoy.”

“I’ve spent my whole career in football from the age of seven from grassroots and becoming a professional at Spurs and having a football league career, getting to captain my country.

“I’ve just come back from captaining my country at this year’s Gold Cup so predominantly my whole career has been in football which I’ve loved.

“In the last few years, I’ve got into coaching to transition into a new kind of career but God puts us in positions sometimes and I’ve been placed in a position where I was asked to play Armando in Ted Lasso and what an experience it’s been and it’s certainly put a hunger in me to pursue more acting roles.”

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