Oceania coaches are only eight days away from completing the region’s highest coaching qualification, as part two of the OFC/NZF A Licence coaching course got underway at Bruce Pulman Lodge in Papakura, Auckland today.

Led by New Zealand Football Technical Director Rob Sherman, the 22 coaches from New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tonga and Fiji have gathered in Auckland to analyse and reflect on their progress over the last 12 months, further develop their model of coaching, and meet the standards required to obtain the A Licence qualification.

During this morning’s opening Sherman emphasised that although the objective is to teach the Professional Coaches Model developed by New Zealand Football, the coaches are free to adapt the content to their own vision of coaching and use a model that works for them.

“Hopefully what is going to be evident in our discussions in the coming eight days is there are a group of coaches who are developing their expertise and establishing firm beliefs about how you play the game,” he said.

“That’s the diversity we want to see on an A Licence. That it is about you. It’s your philosophy, not mine. It’s about how you believe the game should be played and you are able to clearly articulate that.”

The high level course will prove a challenge for the capable coaches, with a full schedule of both theoretical and practical training focused on self-directed learning and active participation.

“We’re going to get straight into it. It’s going to be a busy eight days,” he said.

“Self-reflection is a big part of this, we will review in detail your sessions, course tasks, challenge your philosophy, and test your application. Rather than having simply completed your course tasks we’ll learn from your application no matter whatever form you choose, so that it makes a practical difference to you. We’ll continue that process through group feedback.

“We’re going to look at the whole Model in Part Two and you’ll get feedback from each other, from Flemming Serritslev and from myself.”

Sherman concluded by acknowledging the capability of the coaches and commending them for reaching this far in their football coaching careers already and the work completed to date.

“People think coaching is easy. The assumption is ‘anyone could do that’.

“Coaching is a profession and it’s hard.

“We need highly competent coaches working with our best players.”

The course will conclude at 1pm next Sunday, 4 December, after the coaches take part in their final tests.