“When we plant seeds, then our responsibility is to make sure it will go and Paul Toohey is here to help us in water those seeds which we planted back in 2014,” Tonga Football Association President Lord Ve’ehala said at the opening ceremony of the course.
TFA technical director Kilifi Uele brought together 25 aspiring futsal coaches from across Tongatapu to take part in what is just the second ever futsal course to be held in Tonga.
FIFA Futsal Instructor Paul Toohey expressed excitement at the rate futsal is growing in Tonga.
“We are trying to continue the journey we began back in 2014, when we had the first futsal course here in Tonga,” he said.
“Since that time the ball has been rolling, there were competitions and some regular activities and that’s great. What we are hoping for this week is to give coaches some of the knowledge so they can take the game to another level.”
Toohey said the understanding TFA has about the importance of futsal not just as a game in its own right, but as a football development tool, is encouraging.
“Futsal is part of the family of the small-sided games and as such is a vital tool for kids, especially those under 12, to experience futsal here in Tonga so they can develop the awareness to make good decisions in the game while under pressure.
“I am really impressed as we have some coaches who have returned from the course in 2014 and some coaches who have experience in football and they’re all able to help other participants.”
Toohey also expressed his delight at the number of women who signed up for the course.
“We have nine women participants and I am fully aware that TFA has a women’s futsal competition in place to cater to women’s development.”
Toohey is encouraged by the dedication of the coaches on the course and believes with an early start in futsal Tonga will soon be challenging on the regional stage.
“If Tonga FA start building up from U-15 now, they can be in the FIFA Futsal World Cup Qualifying in 2020.”
The FIFA Futsal Coaching Course concludes at Loto-Tonga Soka Centre today, with a Futsal Festival for children.
For more on Tonga football go to www.tongafootball.to