After leading his Mainland Pride women’s team through the regular season and into the final against Northern Football in Christchurch last Sunday, De Bono was forced to watch the decider via a live stream in Auckland as he continued to work through part one of the coaching course.
“It was pretty tough having to watch it from afar, but I suppose for the benefit of the players and me in the long term it was a sacrifice I had to make to go on the first A Licence in the country,” De Bono says.
“I was lucky enough that I was allowed to go and live stream the game down the back of the room, so I was able to throw in a few comments in terms of coaching.
“I had a phone on the sideline at the game so I was communicating with the team through the game.”
In the end Mainland went down 4-3 in a thrilling contest, despite a late comeback which saw them score twice in additional time.
But having signed on for at least another year with the side, De Bono says he is looking forward to bringing back the skills he has picked up so far in the A Licence to help Mainland go one better next year.
“First and foremost it’s about taking back the application of everything we are doing here at the A Licence,” De Bono says.
“Being able to provide some information to other coaches like my staff with Mainland is crucial.
“Short term it is really going to affect my coaching in my own environment which can only be a positive thing.
“I suppose for us it starts again now, there is a lot of planning to do once I get back, and a lot of that will come out of the learnings I have had here at the A Licence.
“There will be a big push to implement those skills into the preparation for the team.
“It’s going to be a big year next year and hopefully you will see some great changes.”
Part one of the OFC/NZF A Licence concludes in Auckland on Friday, 11 December.