Coaching ● Apr 07, 2017

National Coaches Meeting Officially Launched to Enhance Coach Development


National Coaches Meeting Officially Launched to Enhance Coach Development

By Alvin Tham

When Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Technical Director Mr Michel Sablon unveiled his football development master plan a year into his tenure, enhancing the capabilities of local football coaches was raised as a major objective in order to bring Singapore football to the next level.

In line with this objective, Mr Sablon and his technical team launched the first official National Coaches Meeting on Wednesday 5 April, at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

There are two main objectives to these sessions: to share best practices among coaches of the National Teams from different age groups, as well as for the national coaches to learn from the senior technical experts such as Mr Sablon himself and Mohamed Basir Ellaya Kutty, registered FIFA/AFC coaching instructor and FAS Head of Coach Education.

There were seven presenters for the inaugural session, where national coaches presented their Technical Reports, with topics covering training methods and the respective teams’ playing progress to all attendees, who are all coaches for National Teams of various age-groups.

The full-day seminar was kick-started by the keynote speaker, National Team Coach V. Sundram Moorthy. Other presenters included Richard Tardy (Head Coach, National Youth Teams and Under-22 National Team), V. Selvaraj (Head Coach of Garena Young Lions), and Fandi Ahmad (Head Coach of Under-20 National Team).

Younger coaches such as Fadzuhasny Juraimi (Head Coach of Under-16 National Team) and Sofiyan Hamid (Head Coach of Under-15 National Team) also presented their technical reports, but learnt much from the coaches of the senior teams.

Fadzuhasny shared how the first National Coaches Meeting was a good “learning experience”, and picked up several pointers to help him train his team “better”. He added: “I think it is good (for us) to attend the seminar. We can share information about the teams, and I can get to learn from the senior coaches.”

The youth coaches weren’t the only ones to benefit from the session. Fandi also agreed with Fadzuhasny that the seminar had been a fruitful one. He said: “It is very good to have the seminar. We gain new knowledge by listening to their presentations. It is very important that we share our work with others so that we can also learn from one other. Another very important thing about the presentation is that it opens up our minds on how we coach the youth and the senior boys. After coaching the younger boys a long time ago, it is also very good to pick up some key points to see where we are missing out. For me, it is very important.”

V. Selvaraj felt that there were a lot of beneficial takeaways from the seminar, and that it is important for him to have such sessions with the younger age-group national coaches so they are on the same page, as everyone will share the same mentality on the areas that an age-group national player must work on to become a Young Lion, and eventually move up to the senior National Team.

He said: “These kinds of sharing sessions are very beneficial. The younger coaches can prepare their players well so that they are good enough and when they reach a high enough level, they can progress to the National Team.”

The National Coaches Meeting is the latest in a long list of initiatives launched by Mr Sablon, and he aims to set up more regular sessions in the near future after getting very positive feedback from the attendees.

He said: ‚ÄúWe are now three months into the season, and every team has already had competitive matches, therefore it’s important to update where we are now, what have we done and to evaluate their performances in their respective tournaments and talk about the way forward. We will do this on a regular basis.‚Äù

Mr Sablon said that “exchanging ideas and opinions and remarks and listening to the approach of different coaches of different teams is always interesting and beneficial for everyone.”

Despite the strong roll-out of well-received initiatives over the past few years, Mr Sablon is not resting on his laurels. He called 2017 as the “Year of Quality Control”, as he explained: “Since May 2016, we have started working on 11 projects. So they are in place and most of them are working well. But now it is time to evaluate those initiatives and see if their objectives are achieved. This is because in each of the projects, we want to do better. The projects are here; now we have to improve the quality of the development of the projects.”