Futsal’s unique coaching style was introduced to some of Football Federation American Samoa’s best coaches in a five-day FIFA/FFAS Futsal Coaching Course at DYWA gymnasium in Pago Pago last week.
FIFA Instructor and OFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Development Officer Paul Toohey travelled from New Zealand to deliver the course and open FFAS coaches’ minds to the benefits of futsal for the country.
“One of the most important things about this game is that it can develop not only futsal but football players as well who can go on to represent American Samoa in OFC, and hopefully one day in the World Cup,” Toohey said.
Pago Youth coach and former American Samoa national team captain Liatama Amisone Jr. participated in the course and was pleased to pick up new approaches for coaching both futsal and football to youth.
“I really like the tactics of the game because it is all new to me,” he said.
“I’m used to the 11-a-side game, but learning all this I see the advantages especially for the young kids.
“They can sub in and out, get to play the ball more because of the small size field.
“I can see a big benefit in futsal helping to develop the skills of the younger players.”
FFAS President Faiivae luli Alex Godinet was happy to see FFAS coaches exposed to the game and taught different approaches, understanding the importance of training their coaches to meet FIFA’s Club Licensing regulations.
“Somthing the executive committee and I push for, is for all participants to learn as much as possible from the instructors,” he said.
“In the long run this will help our association tremendously, especially under the new Club Licensing initiative we are adopting.
“All our coaches must be certified under the Club Licensing regulations, and this coaching course will help us achieve those goals.”
FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua addressed the coaches in the opening of the course, explaining the importance of them making the most of the opportunity to learn about futsal and committing to continuous improvement.
“Once this course ends, it is the goal of this association to sustain you as coaches, not only for your clubs but for the future teams such as national teams,” he said.
“Keep that in mind while you try to learn as much as possible from Paul,” he added.
On Saturday 5 November, the course concluded and coaches returned to their coaching roles with a broader perspective on both futsal and football coaching.
For more on American Samoa football visit www.ffas.as