ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda Football Association held its Sixth Annual International “Professional Development Coaches Course” at Antigua Recreation Grounds over the weekend in an effort to help local coaches improve their skills in order to further assist in the development of youth as well as overall football in the country.
The technical advisor to the ABFA Bryan Hamilton, and Alfred Galustian, co-founder of COERVER Coaching, conducted the course which drew a large turnout of youth and senior team coaches.
“The knowledge you will gain on this course will help you to plan and deliver effective sessions that are both challenging and fun for the young players that you work with,” Hamilton said.
He added, “(The course) will hopefully provide the pathway to the development of game effective, technical excellence which we are all striving towards.”
Hamilton said that each course they design is intended to add to their knowledge and ability as a coach.
He insisted that the professional course would update the coaches in the latest in youth development from around the world.
The technical advisor added that the relationship he has developed with the Antiguan coaches has been extremely fulfilling for both parties.
“What we have done here is enormous,” Hamilton claimed.
“Professional clubs around the world are all trying to implement what we have accomplished here and you should be applauded for this.”
He said further that since the start of the programme, there have been tangible benefits as shown by the national team’s progression on the FIFA list.
“It is because of what you (coaches) have done why (the national team) has moved from 170 to 84 in the world,” Hamilton told the coaches.
“Never say you have done enough. Keep looking for new ideas and continue to work. And not just the coaches, but the administration, both past and present must take some credit for implementing this very beneficial programme.
“This programme was implemented by the previous president Mervyn Richards and enhanced by the present administration,” he said.
“This (improvement) is what they all want for the youth in football in Antigua.”
ABFA officials – First Vice President Fernando “Nando” Abraham, along with General Secretary Gordon “Banks” Derrick – thanked the facilitators, which included national coach Tom Curtis and encouraged the local coaches to take full advantage of the three-day event.
Over the three days, the local coaches were schooled on a vast variety of techniques to impart to their students. They were shown ways to improve first touch, passing, shooting, and heading.
In addition, one-on-one offence, one-on-one defence, and ability to run with the ball were all covered at the end of which all coaches were given a written exam.
The programme is one aspect of ABFA’s mandate that has led to the national team’s success in the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.
In June this year, Antigua & Barbuda will continue its campaign for a place in Brazil for the World Cup when the team takes on USA, before engaging Jamaica and Guatemala in a home and away series.