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OFC B Licence reflects impressive progress

Solomon Islands U-17 coach Marlon Houkarawa at the 2017 OFC U-17 Championship. Image: OFC via Phototek

Part Two of the OFC B Licence coaching course kicks off its sixth day at Fiji Football Headquarters in Vatuwaqa today, and OFC instructor Giovani Fernandes couldn’t be happier with the participants’ positive responses.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with the coaches, their commitment is incredible and we truly hope that they continue to effective football in our region in a positive manner.”

Throughout the eight-day course, Fernandes – along with fellow OFC instructor James Bannatyne and Fiji Football Association Technical Director Ravinesh Kumar – aim to provide the coaches with the tools to adapt to our ever changing football landscape and constantly strive for improvement.

“Ultimately we aim to create an environment which challenges individuals’ cognitive process and prepares them to be better adapted to their next challenge,” he said.

“Our focus in part two pays significant weight to game understanding and the coaches’ ability to develop a coherent plan in order to maximise performance.”

After observing the participants’ progress since the completion of part one in Auckland last year, one of the most notable and impressive changes Fernandes has picked up on is that the coaches have developed their  leadership skills firstly at a personal level, but also so that they are now impacting other people and organisations in a positive way.

“It has been a privilege to work with the coaches this week and it is clear football in our region is making steady progress. While there is certainly room for improvement, the personal commitment made by each of the candidates is exciting and bodes well for the future,” Bannatyne added.

One of the participants finding their style is Solomon Islands U-17 coach Marlon Houkarawa, who has enjoyed the step towards more detailed content.

“In the past few days I’ve already learned a lot compared to the first part,” he said.

“What stands out for me now in part two is creating team tasks or identifying or analysing a team.I didn’t know how to analyse a team at the conclusion of the first part of this course, but part two gives me a lot of knowledge about analysis which I’m really glad to be learning.

“We’re really going into the details of all the different concepts that we learned in part one. Applying more detail means I am beginning to develop a much better understanding of some of the concepts we had already touched on.”

Houkarawa’s secret to success on the course has been relating content back to his experience at the OFC U-17 Championship in February, which he believes has helped fast-track his learning over the past five days.

“Now that I understand a lot of things better, I recall the OFC U-17 Championship and think ‘I could have done this’ and ‘I could have done that better’, such as analysing the opposition before I actually play against them,” he said.

“Having gone through an OFC tournament has helped me relate real situations to the theories that I’ve learned here so it has actually been very helpful.”

Houkarawa has also used other real life situations to help absorb content, and believes his experience in the course will not only help him on the football field, but in other leadership roles in his life.

“Most of the things we learned during this course has actually been not only applicable for coaching, but also in our personal lives and work. It’s applicable everywhere.”

Part Two of the OFC B Licence coaching course will conclude on 7 April after participants have completed their final assessments.

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