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Motivation and discipline encouraged

Participants and instructors on the FIFA Youth Coaching Course.

Fiji Football Association has encouraged participants on this week’s FIFA Youth Coaching Course to stay motivated and disciplined as they progress as coaches.

CEO Mohammed Yusef gave the words of advice during the opening ceremony of the course at Fiji FA Headquarters in Vatuwaqa on Monday.

“Coaches are like teachers on the field. It is important that you maintain discipline – not only for yourself but also your teams and players,” Yusef advised.

“You need to be a good example to the players.”

Yusef stated the growth of football in Fiji is encouraging and through people like the course participants, the future looks even brighter.

“Football in Fiji is slowly developing day-by-day and Fiji FA – with the help of FIFA and OFC – will continue to organise such courses so Fiji can compete well at the regional and international stage.

“There are many changes going on in football now. The game is faster and more compact so players have to think faster and do things faster.

“For this to happen, the coaches have to change the training sessions and their methodology – which is what I hope to achieve through this course.”

The five-day course is being led by instructors James Bannatyne and Ravinesh Kumar, who is also Fiji FA technical director.

Bannatyne said the aim for the course is to enhance participants knowledge of the game, with a focus on creating the link between the youth league and national player development model based on Fiji FA’s established playing philosophy.

That philosophy includes a move away from the style and brand of football previously associated with Fiji.

“We should stop playing the direct kicking ball and adopt the new style of play and this can be done by you coaches, with grassroots development,” Kumar explained.

“You are the ones who will start this campaign with other officials of Fiji FA and other coaches along with the technical departments of Fiji FA and OFC, we start this new campaign in possession-based football.

“We will work more in the playing style of football and the coaching philosophy during the week and get your mind set changed from now on.”

The recently launched U-16 Youth League in Fiji is, for Kumar, an example of how the national association wants to move forward.

“On the t-shirts is written ‘Mission 2026’,” he said.

“And that means we are aiming for the 2026 FIFA World Cup where one-and-a-half spots are available, and that half spot matters a lot for Fiji.

“We have eight years between now and the campaign for the 2026 World Cup and you will be among the people who help start this process off.”

The FIFA Youth Coaching Course is being attended by 21 participants and concludes on Friday 25 August.

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