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Knowledge is power – FFS ramp up courses during off season

In mid July, FFS conducted a youth goalkeeping licence course, led by OFC instructor James Bannatyne. Seventeen goalkeepers from the Upolu and Savaii League took part and were presented with OFC uniforms and goalkeeping gear to kick start the three day course.
Participants learnt how to coach and develop goalkeepers for the future through planning training sessions which focused on specific technical skills such as standing saves, high balls, back passes etc. This was followed by practical sessions to demonstrate these skills. Their coaching skills were put to the test on the last day of the course, teaching the kids from Saturday’s session of FUN Football at Tuanaimato, basic goalkeeping skills.
James Bannatyne was happy with the progress of the course, noting the change in skill level and understanding.
“All of the coaches did not have a lot of experience in goalkeeper coaching at first however now they are working through a lot in terms of planning and technical understanding then passing this on to the kids”, he said.
“It is an area that OFC sees as important in the development of goalkeepers.”
The last goalkeeping course was held in 2012 with ten participants who were football players but did not specialize in goalkeeping. This time around, FFS targeted actual goalkeepers from the local clubs to attend the course and improve their skills.
Following the goalkeeping course in Upolu was a D1 licence course, held in Savaii over three days. Led by FFS Technical Development Officer Tala Salamasina, the course focused on the planning and delivery of training sessions.
Initially, the course attendees had difficulty grasping the content of the course however they excelled during practical sessions, enjoying a more ‘hands on’ learning experience. Salamasina decided to conduct the course after seeing a lot of potential to grow and develop football in Savaii.
“There was a need for coaches with the introduction of the FUN football program and Centre for Development in Savaii so it was imperative for us to ensure that they were skilled and prepared to lead training sessions ”, he said.
With the development of coaches being a top priority, the FFS Technical Department plan to conduct the next D1 licence course in 4-5 months and a senior goalkeeping licence course in 2015.

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