Sean Douglas has brought his extensive football experience to OFC and will help launch the Confederation’s e-learning platform this year.
The former All White, who collected 29 international caps from 1993-2001, is based in Melbourne, Australia and will work remotely as OFC’s E-Learning Development Manager.
The e-learning platform will serve as the online learning system for OFC, providing a high-quality suite of materials for coaches, officials and administrators involved in football.
While Douglas has called Australia home for the past decade, he grew up in Auckland watching Mt Wellington who were a dominant New Zealand club littered with All Whites in the 1980s.
His own playing career at the top level began with a debut for North Shore United in New Zealand’s old national league as a 17-year-old in 1990 before professional stints in Singapore, Denmark and Australia.
He came back to New Zealand at the turn of the century, playing for the now-defunct Football Kingz from 2000-2002 before representing Kiwi national league clubs Waitakere United, Auckland City and Team Wellington while working on his coaching craft.
He was the Coaching Director at Eastern Suburbs AFC before becoming Director of Football at Auckland Football Federation from 2005-2010.
He moved to Melbourne in 2010 where he became Football Victoria’s Technical Director.
His most recent role prior to joining OFC was with Football Australia as their Head of Coach Education, while he has served as a Technical Expert for FIFA since 2019.
Douglas is also completing a Master of Sports Coaching through the University of Queensland with a focus on adult learning and coach development.
“I love helping people learn and develop and I have a real passion for improving how we help people learn. E-learning is also going to play a bigger role in how we grow and develop as people,” Douglas said.
“So, this project was the perfect opportunity to bring something to life that would be valuable to all football stakeholders in the OFC region.
“I am never satisfied with just doing things the way they have always been done. I have a drive to always improve how things are done and find new, better or more effective ways to work or achieve our goals.
“I hope to bring that characteristic to this role and eventually make the e-learning platform something everyone in OFC can be proud of. Of course, I’ll then be trying to make it even better, so it’s a never-ending project.”
While the coronavirus pandemic has created challenges for international travel, Douglas said he expected to visit OFC’s Member Associations when it was safe to do so.
“I also believe that the best people to drive a project are those that will use it, or those who are ‘on the ground’.
“So, I look forward to working together with the coaches, referees and administrators from all over OFC to ensure they have a say in this project. The best way to start and effect change is always with local action, not from someone sitting in an office in another country. I hope to work collaboratively and co-create this project with those who will use it.”
Owain Prosser, OFC’s Head of Education and High Performance, said Douglas was the ideal person to bring onboard.
“We are thrilled to have Sean join the team at OFC and are looking forward to him adding tremendous value to the organisation,” Prosser said.
“He has significant experience in designing learning for adults and coach education and has been performing at the highest level of the game for a number of years.
“It will be exciting to see him develop online learning for the region and I am sure he will be a fantastic asset not only for OFC but also the Member Associations.”
With the world becoming more digitally-focused in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the right time for OFC to move forward in this space.
“Online learning will aim to provide an engaging and accessible approach to education to support our football officials, volunteers, administrators and coaches become the best versions of themselves,” Prosser said.
“It will complement the existing face-to-face courses and workshops, allowing learners to access information and educate themselves in a variety of different ways.”
The e-learning platform, made possible through the support of the UEFA Assist programme, is expected to be launched in July.