THE Saint Lucia Football Association Inc (SLFA) officially commenced yet another CONCACAF D License Coaching programme for its affiliates on Wednesday 20th November 2019 at its headquarters in La Clery.
This time around the Course is being facilitated by local CONCACAF Training Coach Educators, Emmanuel Bellas, Solomon Alexander and Nigel Francis.
The Course is being supervised by CONCACAF Course Instructor Lenny Lake who at the end of the day will be assessing the local Instructors with a view to them being fully certified by CONCACAF.
In his address to the participants, local coordinator Emmanuel Bellas emphasized the importance and seriousness of the Course and reminded them of their commitment and obligation in further developing the sport.
Bellas further informed them, it is not a scenario of them attending the Course, receiving Certification and then there is no follow up and ongoing results.
However, he was a bit optimistic that an initial perusal of the group gave him some hope and confidence as he has seen most of them going through their paces diligently. However, he warned it cannot be business as usual.
Also addressing the participants was President of the SLFA Inc, Lyndon Cooper, who informed every one of the seriousness of the exercise being undertaken as while the SLFA is investing heavily in developing the sport the returns must be to some extent be comparable to, or surpass that investment.
He took the opportunity once again to inform all and sundry, “Come Tuesday 31st December 2019, all Clubs seeking to participate and benefit from football competitions organized by the Association must be D’ License compliance. Failure to comply these Clubs will be left out in the wilderness”.
While in 2019, the Association had seven various national teams in training he is not convinced and satisfied that their objective was realized.
However, he did highlight the achievements of the current Under 15 Boys Team who from 2014 as the Under 14 continue to play unbeaten. However in 2021 they will be participating in the Under 17 competition which is a different kettle of fish altogether.
Cooper said, “The year 2020 will see less national teams in training as the plan now is to streamline and prioritise. While over a million dollars was spent in preparation for the Senior National Team for participation in the just concluded CONCACAF Nations League B, Group B where Saint Lucia finished at the bottom of the table, the policy moving forward is to drastically rethink and enforce selection policy”.
No longer will domestic competitions be used to select national teams for the wider footballing world will leave us behind. Emphasis will be on selecting the best players in the world available to Saint Lucia.
To date over one hundred and twenty five local coaches have benefitted from training in the D ‘ Licence Coaching Programme, and the SLFA Inc is of the firm view that the time is more than opportune to approach CONCACAF for application for the C’ License Coaching Course.
This upgraded Course focuses much more on certain key areas namely: Principles of play; Attacking and penetration techniques; Fitness training and Coaching practices
This Course will no doubt offer the coaches and instructors access to the highest quality education programs.
The SLFA President, Lyndon Cooper reminded the participants that they are being aided by a friendly Government and that stake holders are gradually coming on board, and hence the reason that no effort should be spared in developing that beautiful game of football locally.
“To you coaches the ball is now squarely at your feet, go out there and deliver”. he asserted.
The ongoing D’ License CONCACAF Coaching Course is being administered differently to what obtained in the past.
Meanwhile, CONCACAF Instructor Lenny Lake, said, “Before the Course was administered and conducted by Instructors essentially from CONCACAF. However, a few years ago CONCACAF saw it fitting to develop instructional capacity and hence organized Courses geared towards training the Trainer”.
“Following a two year intensive programme CONCACAF has now seen it fitting to give ownership to its Member Associations (MAs) to deliver the Course to its affiliates. As of 2020 it is the intention that all MA will now be in a position to train their local coaches with the hope of further building capacity”.
“It is further envisaged that CONCACAF will continue to provide training for Coaching Educators so that in the next four to five years each MA will have within their confines at least five fully trained Coaching Educators”.
“CONCACAF is cognizant of the fact that the MAs have enough competent coaches on the ground who are knowledgeable enough to administer their own programme and to target specific and unique challenges in order to alleviate the problems”.
Lake said, “CONCACAF is confident that the MAs are quite capable of running their own programmes and now see themselves as merely a facilitator and provide guidance. Thus the MAs are best placed to tackle the problems that will help in the growth and development of that beautiful game of football”.