Wilkinson: Good player won’t make good coach

KUALA LUMPUR: FIFA coaching instructor and former Leeds supremo Howard Wilkinson has underlined the point that a good player who turns to coaching does not hold advantages. It does not necessarily make him a fantastic coach either. 

Wilkinson is in Kuala Lumpur to conduct the second Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Professional Football Diploma Coaching Course. 

“Take for example Gerard Houllier of Liverpool,” said Wilkinson.  

“He has never played professional football but yet he has brought Liverpool success in the international football scene.” 

“Another good example is Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, whose experience as a professional player was limited but he is certainly doing well as a coach. 

“Being a top quality player can be important in becoming a coach. But it is not the most important thing. The ability to communicate and influence people play important roles in being a good coach.” 

A total of 20 coaches from Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, China, and Jordan are attending the four-module course, which will be conducted over 18 weeks. 

Among the coaches in attendance are Malaysia's assistant national coach B. Sathianathan, chief coach of the national Under-21 side K. Rajagopal, Singapore Armed Forces' Fandi Ahmad and Iraqi club Al Talaba's Abdul Raheem H. Aufi. 

The course topics cover physical demands on football players, influence of sports science in football and also nutrition to peak performance. 

The coaches will go to Duisburg in Germany for Module Two and return to their country to do a 5,000-word thesis. The fourth and final module will be held in Paju, South Korea. 

The AFC's general secretary, Datuk Peter Velappan, is optimistic that the course would benefit not only the coaches but also Asian football as well. 

“Coaches play important roles in the development of football and I am pleased to see another big group of coaches sitting for this diploma course,” he said. 

“Wilkinson is an experienced and competent instructor and I trust the participants will gain much knowledge from him.” 

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