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Technical Directors’ raising the bar

The 2017 FIFA MA Technical Directors course kicked off in Auckland yesterday.

Technical directors from across Oceania have gathered in Auckland this week to upskill and collaborate during the FIFA MA Technical Directors Course in a bid to continue raising the standard of football in Oceania.

With the introduction of FIFA’s new development programme “Forward”, the position of a Member Association technical director has become more important than ever for the analysis, planning, implementation and monitoring of football projects.

Led by FIFA Head of Technical Development Services Jürg Nepfer and FIFA Technical Consultants Hans-Ruedi Hasler and Francesco Bruscoli, the week-long course aims to update participants on “Forward”, build a better understanding of the role and expectations of a technical director, and provide tools and processes to enhance the work they are doing in their roles.

“You don’t have to copy, you have to develop,” Hasler explained.

“Our role this week is not to teach, our role is to work with you to improve your situation back home.”

“We want everybody to leave with something concrete, not only theoretical but also practical,” Nepfer added.

With years of experience developing the managerial side of member associations around the world – particularly ones lacking a sufficient standard of organisation – Bruscoli’s objective for the week is to impart his knowledge in Oceania.

“I’m not going to teach you anything about football. My role is much more about how you organise and how you plan,” he said.

“The idea is not to make you the best manager in the world, the idea is to give you the management skills that will help you perform in your roles.”

To achieve these objectives and ensure all participants ‘benefit optimally’, the course will be delivered by Nepfer, Hasler and Bruscoli through four pillars.

“The first is presentations – our presentations but also your presentations about your position and about your goals, about how you’re structured, and about your status in your member associations,” Nepfer said.

“Then we will move on to practical observations and analysis. It’s very important to watch a game, training or coach education course not through the eyes of a coach, but through the eyes of a technical director, and be able to see the bigger picture.

“The third pillar is project cycle work. Led by Francesco, each Technical Director will choose a project or a topic – whether it is grassroots, youth football, women’s football, coach education – and work through the process from the analysis, the planning, implementation, and monitoring.”

“Finally we will have the bilateral meetings at the end of the week. On Friday afternoon we’ll have time to talk to everybody about your situation, your challenges, your proposals and how FIFA and OFC can assist your work.”

After participating in the inaugural OFC Education and Training Seminar in Auckland last week, Tonga Technical Director Kilifi Uele is looking forward to another intensive week of learning with his fellow OFC colleagues and FIFA.

“It’s an honour for me to be here as part of the Oceania Football Confederation Technical Directors team. I think I’m one of the longest acting technical directors that has come through this process and I really appreciate OFC and FIFA allowing me to be a part of this.

“This is all part of the long-term development plan for FIFA, for Oceania, and also for Tonga Football Association,” he said.

“My objective here is pretty simple. I want to gain more experience and knowledge and build a deeper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of technical directors. At the same time I want to think about the challenges I face in this job and to keep working towards my vision – to help Tonga lift from the level of participation to the level of performance.”

Working in the role since 2005, Uele has contributed to the past decade of development in Tonga football. With many new faces taking on technical director roles in recent years, Uele hopes to contribute his knowledge and experiences to help fast-track the development and understanding of his fellow participants.

“I think it’s important for us to build a team in the Oceania region. This week will be a good chance for me to share everything I know and hopefully learn new stuff from the other technical directors in the region and the expertise of FIFA,” he said.

“Together we can develop the game in this region to reach the world stage.”

With OFC Technical Director Patrick Jacquemet and OFC Instructor Giovani Fernandes assisting in delivery, coordination and ongoing post-course support, the technical directors will return to their member associations at the conclusion of the course on 12 May to implement their own adaptions of FIFA’s processes.

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