Solomon Islander Moses Toata is brimming with confidence after completing Part 1 of the OFC/NZF A Licence in Auckland this week.
The former national team coach spent the past 12 days in the top-level coaching course in the hopes that he will be able to create a higher standard of coaching in Solomon Islands and push fellow coaches to follow in his footsteps.
“Coming here to do the A Licence has been very important not only for me but for other coaches in Solomon Islands, so that they can see the pathway and where they’ll be in the next five to ten years in terms of their coaching career,” he said.
Although the step up from previous coaching courses has been a tough challenge for Toata, he feels more confident taking on coaching roles with the unique course content providing him with a new perspective of the game.
“This has been a very advanced course. I’ve been able to learn a lot of new things. It’s a very new experience, especially the content,” he said.
“This course has been more process orientated, focusing on improving the ways we deliver our sessions and the way we plan our sessions to maximise outcomes.”
Although there was a heavy load of content for Toata to absorb, he was grateful to have experienced teachers like former New Zealand Technical Director Rob Sherman, New Zealand Football Coach Development Manager Steven Dillon and Northern Football Coach Development Officer Korouch Monsef showing their full support
“The course coordinators have been great and are very knowledgeable of the game,” he said.
“The course is very informative and after 12 days here, my knowledge of the game and the process to get the results I want has been broadened.”
Toata’s coaching career kicked off in 2004 when he retired from international football due to injury. He coached at a club level in Solomon Islands but didn’t make the move to progress into higher football until he was given the push by his former national team coach Alan Gillet.
After producing results in club teams and showing strong potential in coaching courses, Toata made it to the country’s top coaching role when he was appointed as head coach of the Solomon Islands national team. Although he was only at the helm for a short stint, Toata is grateful for the unique experience of leading a national side.
“At the club level you have players you can deal with every day and you get to know them very well but at the national level you have a different set of players, and the expectation is different,” he said.
“I coached the national team for about a year and a half and my first big task was to get the team to the OFC Nations Cup in PNG. When you’re representing the country, it’s not just a few supporters that expect results from you, it’s the whole country.”
Despite the pressure of the nation resting on Toata’s shoulders, he was able to produce results, guiding his side to the knockout stage of the competition to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Qualifiers – OFC Stage 3.
“For me, it was an opportunity for me to gain more experience in a coaching role and I think as a team we did alright. I’m still in the learning process but when you can produce results, it’s a good feeling and it builds confidence.”
Feeling even more confident at the conclusion of Part 1, Toata is looking forward to using his experience to contribute to the development of football when he returns to the Solomon Islands.
“I’m looking forward to going back home and putting this into practice. We’re still in the qualifiers so my immediate goal will be to help the national team prepare for their next games against Papua New Guinea. It has been very important for me to get myself prepared to help take the national team into the next stage.”