Having qualified coaches taking teams in their national league is part of the short-term plan for Football Federation American Samoa and the recent FIFA Youth Coaching Course was one step being taken to achieve that goal.
FIFA Instructor Nicola Demaine said the course was the first step in upskilling the coaches, and was also an opportunity to identify potential coaching talent in the American territory.
“The Youth Coaching Course was aimed at launching the FFAS initiative to have all coaches in the National League in July 2017, qualified,” Demaine explained.
“The coaches were very open to learning and we saw huge improvement from the first day to the last.
“We have moved from isolated training to game-related, realistic trainings and they all adapted well.”
A total of 21 participants took part in the course, with Demaine assisted by FFAS Technical Director Rupeni Luvu and development officer Tanoa Lui.
Demaine said something unique to this course was having two local reverends taking part.
“One, Reverend Sio Opeta from Utulei Youth said his job was to spread the word of God and of football,” Demaine said.
“If you can’t find him in his church, then you will find him on the field.”
The OFC Women’s Football Development Officer said the course was a challenging one, but she has confidence changes are afoot for the burgeoning football nation.
“American Samoa has a high migration rate and as a result, FFAS has found itself with a limited number of accredited coaches compared with some other nations,” she said.
“But they have a clear plan to rectify this and football for youth will improve quite quickly so watch this space.”
The FIFA Youth Coaching Course was held at FFAS Headquarters in Pago Pago, American Samoa from 3-7 October.
For more on American Samoa football visit www.ffas.as