Coaching ● Dec 08, 2017

An Eye on Elite Youth Development


FIFA Instructor Bob Browaeys returned to Singapore this week to conduct the FIFA Elite Youth Development Course. Attended by coaches from the Centres of Excellence, Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Football Academy (formerly referred to as the National Football Academy), S.League clubs, and coach educators, the course kicked off on Monday 4 December 2017 and will conclude today.

Mr Browaeys conducted the FIFA Youth Development Course in November 2016 in Singapore. With that as the foundation, this year’s course focuses on the Under-15 to Under-17 age groups and on the application of tactical principles.

He said: “We take an individual approach (to youth development); it’s not about making the team better but about developing the player. Last year’s course was more general, where we spoke about youth development, building the players’ basics and team tactics. This year we go into the specifics of developing Under-15 and Under-17 players.”

It is no surprise that the approach mirrors the FAS youth development plan, as Mr Browaeys hails from Belgium and had worked on the Belgian vision for youth development alongside FAS Technical Director Michel Sablon. He led the Belgium Under-17 National Team to their third place finish at the 2015 FIFA Under-15 World Cup, one of the team’s biggest successes.

With the FAS’ renewed focus on youths in the S.League, it is crucial that coaches are equipped with the technical knowhow and skillset in developing young players.

Warriors FC Under-15 coach Mr Tan Kiah Fook, who is one of the 24 participants, shared: “As the players progress to the next level, the focus has to be on the tactical aspect. That’s why I applied for the FIFA Elite Youth Workshop this year. Other than to upgrade myself, I want to learn more about the tactical aspects of the game, which is the focus of the course. I am hoping to apply what I have learnt from the course to the team I am currently coaching and implement them during training and games.”

Commenting on the need for coaches to understand how to coach youth players, Mr Mohamed Basir Ellaya Kutty, FAS Head of Coach Education added: “It is very crucial and also part of our strategic approach in coach education to progressively impart key information and best practices for the development of young players. This workshop with FIFA technical expert Bob Browaeys is a progression of what was shared by him in the 2016 workshop.

“FAS will continue to facilitate the development of our coaches with a progressive, systematic approach through the sharing of best practices applied globally, to ensure that our playing philosophies are imbued to realise the desired outcomes of our Football Development plans.”