Under the vaulted ceilings and chandeliers of Ashridge, more than 80 academy coaches have gathered for a residential training program run by the Premier League. At no point today will any of them go anywhere near kicking a ball.

Rather, they are taking part in a comedy improvisation workshop, run by a group called The Comedy School. They are learning some tricks of the trade as they build up to putting on an improvised show of their own, staged in front of their peers.

“Seriously, soon as I saw there was going to be a performance at the end of the day, I was thinking how I could get out of it,” says Carl Martin, the former Crewe Alexandra player who coaches Watford’s under-18 squad. “This is way out of my comfort zone.”

Which is largely the point. The course is a Premier League initiative to complement the education programmes all the coaches are currently undertaking. While Uefa licences largely centre on learning how to deliver coaching sessions, this is about personal development.