Coaches aspire to higher level

The Cayman Islands Football Association in association with FIFA, once again directed a FIFA Member Association Advanced Level Coaching Course this week.

It took place at the UCCI and Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

This course was free and was administrated by Alvin Corneal and Scott O’Donell, both certified FIFA coaching instructors.

This was a follow-up course; the second stage of a FIFA MA Coaches Course administrated by Corneal in 2007 and focused on Advanced Coaching, Youth Development, match situations and tactics.

Over 30 coaches affiliated to various football clubs and schools on the island attended the course.

On Saturday evening between there was a friendly game between the coaches at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex and today the course will culminate with a brief closing ceremony when certificates of participation will be handed out to the participants.

Corneal played football and cricket for Trinidad’s national team in the 70s and 80s. In football he is an icon, playing 119 times for the Soca Warriors and scored 69 goals.

He was national football coach on three occasions. He has also coached the national teams of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and the Caribbean regional side.

Corneal also played for the first ever Caribbean side that toured England for six months in 1959. He also went to Mexico for three weeks with another Caribbean side in 1981.

An instructor for FIFA now, working with coaches all over the world, Corneal has worked with Carl Brown in Jamaica in the past and has every confidence that Cayman’s technical director will continue all the pointers learnt on this course.

Corneal said: ‘We’re going to be gone in a week but he’s going to have to stay here and chance the direction of Cayman football.

‘We’re here to conduct an advanced coaching course. I conducted a course with this group two years ago and now we’re stepping it up another level and the coaches are showing a lot of enthusiasm.

‘A lot of questions and things to open their minds and then we’re going to move on to the field and expose their knowledge a little bit more so that they can be better prepared to coach their teams and in the schools.

‘I’ve not yet visited the new Centre of Excellence but have heard about it when I came here two years ago when the assessment was going through for it. I’m sure it’s going to be a lovely place.

‘FIFA never does anything short of having an adequate place for its headquarters. I’m sure it’s going to be a good one.’

Brown said: ‘I keep saying to the coaches that they need to seek knowledge wherever it is. This course has two very experienced personnel here who I’m certain have imparted a whole lot to them.

‘I’m certain that this will be very special to me. We’re talking about modern football, learning it is that is going to help us to raise our national game to a higher level.’

O’Donell was a professional in Australia and finished his career in Malaysia and Singapore where he started his coaching career. He coached the Cambodia national side and was Director of Coach Football at the Asia Football Confederation. He recently resigned that post to resume the Cambodia national job.

O’Donell said on Saturday: ‘This is only the first day but I’ve seen good co-operation and participation from all the coaches.

‘The FA have asked us to focus on training young players, also tactical training and to look at modern trends in football. So it’s a wide range of things but focussing on young players specifically.’

This course was organised by CIFA president Jeffrey Webb who said: ‘This is the continuation of a course started two years ago with the focus on primarily empowering referees and administrators.

‘It started online with FIFA and is the third one held in Cayman. CIFA is committed to evaluating the human resources side of our football structure. We’ve got to get the human aspect to a higher level and keep abreast with the trends and techniques in world football.’

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