Thursday, December 20, 2012

FA International course in England

For a while now, there has not been many posts and even the last few months saw a few borrowed posts by a close friend. I trust we will roll up a few things about my latest trip overseas. Those familiar with my travels must be confused which side is overseas by now.

I attended a high level FA International License coaching course at the St George's Park Football Centre. This is located in a quiet location of Staffordshire, Burton-upon-Trent. It is the state-of-the-art centre of excellence with amazing latest technology in sports science and rehabilitation that money can buy. There is only eight such centres globally, five of which are in the USA.

The complex basically comprises the hotel meant to cater for the England megastar players in football, rugby, cricket and executives among others, which includes 24 England national teams. There are over a dozen football fields, a Wembley replica indoor arena with maximum FIFA measurements as well as an outdoor actual size Wembley pitch made from the same materials produced by the same machines.

There is so much high-tech equipment to d things one cannot imagine but I will spare you the details. The project took 11 years and cost over 100 million British pounds. One to say is that the whole area is infested with every bit of football in terms of history and records and is a sure sign of the English pride in their game.

More importantly, England are entering an era whereby they are on a path to formulate and strategise with their new philosophy. They want to play football in a certain way and they are planting this philosophy to their youth development programs through coach education and other means.

This led to the restructuring of their coach education to be in a certain way and be aligned with the UEFA coaching license programs. This made their badges the most demanding, highly rated and not so easy to get. Due to their schedules and assessment modes, foreign coaches fail to access them as they are designed for resident students.

With all this, I am sure I convinced you that despite my abilities being over-rated, I did not do as well as expected. Given my record and experience, it was one of the most devastating days of my life in football. All went well until assessment time. Both were bad, the first in my opinion and the second, according to the course expectations. We will look at a few details and the individuals in due course.

For now, forget about yours truly who dominated the South American beautiful game in Rio de Janeiro a dozen years ago. That was then and now is now, but there is always a but.