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FA Instructor keen on working with Oceania coaches

OFC Auckland: Football Association coaching instructor, Alan Gillett, has arrived in Auckland, New Zealand for the OFC Senior License Coaching Course which opens tomorrow, Friday 2 December at the OFC Academy in Ericsson Stadium.

The course, which will run till 12 December, is the first of many other courses that will take place over the next few years as part of the OFC “Indigenous” (Local) Talented Coach Scheme. The Scheme, introduced for the first time this year, was initiated by the OFC to improve the overall level of soccer coaching in the region with focus on those coaches, already identified by their national associations as future coaches of their respective national teams.

Thirteen coaches from around the region have been brought together to form the “class of 2003” which means they will be kept together throughout the scheme and monitored on their performance after each course. All coaches attending the workshop will be followed through as part of the long-term assistance the FA will provide. The first course will see the participants sit a Football Association Level 2 coaching certificate.

The two best performed coaches from this course will be sent to England to sit the UEFA B coaching license exam in 2004.

According to Samoa assistant national coach, Malo Vaga, he sees the Scheme as a stepping stone in his career and is thankful for the opportunity provided by the OFC with assistance from the FA.

“To learn under such an experienced coaching instructor is a privilege and will no doubt be challenging. But I look forward to the course and hope to do well throughout the Scheme,” he said.

Mr Gillett said today that he looked forward to working with the Oceania coaches and hopes they will be prepared to put in the hard work.

“I hope to keep them on fire throughout the course but ultimately, how well they do will be up to them,” he explained.

“It doesn’t matter what background they have as all coaches need a good foundation and this course would provide this.”

The well travelled Englishman brings to Oceania over 30 years of coaching under his belt, at various levels. His most recent assignment for the FA was national coach for Malawi in Africa. He had also coached in Japan and for various clubs in England including Wimbledon, Watford and Plymouth Argyle. His first major appointment was national coach of Yemen in 1977.

Mr Gillett was born in Kenya but was mostly educated in London where he was a promising youth player for Crystal Palace before turning full-time to coaching. He is regarded as one of the senior coaching instructors for the FA holding a UEFA A License and Diploma, and is regularly involved in the FA’s talent identification squads from the under 15 to under 21 levels.

The OFC honorary president and Oceania Ambassador, Mr Charles Dempsey CBE, will officially open the course tomorrow.

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