Asian football coaches learn Europeans' tactical acumen in course

KUALA LUMPUR: The successes of South Korea and Japan in the 2002 FIFA World Cup were credited to the European coaches for their tactical acumen in getting the best out of their respective teams. 

Under these coaches, a group of local coaches have benefited from the wonderful experience and it is now up to Asia to ride on this crest of success. It is the hope that Asian coaches will play leading roles in their teams' successes. 

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) are organising the second Professional Football Diploma Coaching Course in Kuala Lumpur, which began here yesterday. 

Former Leeds supremo Howard Wilkinson is the chief instructor in this four-module course where KL will be the setting for the first module. 

Wilkinson will be remembered in the Football Association (FA) as the person who devised the “Charter of Quality”, which is a strategic plan for football.  

It involves player development, academics and the strategy for development of international players and coaches. 

A total of 20 coaches from all over Asia are attending the course.  

They include former KL and Singapore star Fandi Ahmad, who is now the chief coach of Singapore Armed Forces, V. Sundram Moorthy, assistant Malaysian national coach B. Sathianathan, national Under-21 coach K. Rajagopal, M-League coaches Yunus Alif (Pahang) and Azuan Zain (Johor FC). 

“We are delighted to be able to organise this coaching course for Asian coaches,” said the AFC general secretary, Datuk Peter Velappan. 

“This course will consist of four modules and it is a great privilege to have Wilkinson to do the first module for the 20 coaches in attendance. 

“This course is the highest of the AFC coach license programme and it also involves a stint in Germany and South Korea for six weeks.” 

The course encompasses theory and practical sessions and also involves writing a thesis of 5,000 words on a given topic during the period of the course. 

The AFC have set strict criteria for selection in this elite coach education programme, which sees 20 coaches sitting for this diploma. 

Among the criteria are a coach should possess an AFC A license or its equivalent, working with a club or a national team, able to communicate and write fluent English and should have played for a top club or country.  

“We would like to thank the German FA (DFB) for extending their best sports school facilities as well the experienced instructors,” said Velappan. 

“Thereafter, coaches will have to return to clubs for further practical experience.  

“Finally, the coaches will gather in Paju, South Korea, for the final stint, which will include examinations in theory and practical as well as coaching.”  

He added that the inaugural Professional Football Diploma Coaching Course was a roaring success with 18 coaches graduating. 

“The Professional Football Diploma Coaching Course are the pioneers who will be able to assume coaching positions at club and national level,” said Velappan. 

“The AFC hope to intensify this programme every year to train more qualified coaches for the professional license course.” 

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