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Way to go, BFA

Renaldo Gilkes

Way to go, BFA

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Despite the unsuccessful performances of our national teams this year, one CONCACAF delegate believes Barbados football is “on the right path”.

Speaking to MIDWEEK SPORT last Wednesday during the CONCACAF D Licence Coaching Course, CONCACAF and FIFA instructor Lenny Lake gave the Barbados Football Association (BFA) thumbs up for their current path in football development.

“We must commend president Randy Harris and his executive for recognising that development (coaching and otherwise) is critical for any association’s development and longevity,” Lake said.

Thirty of Barbados’ youth club coaches engaged in a four-day experience to improve their coaching knowledge and practices, thanks to the local football association in conjunction with CONCACAF.

The CONCACAF D Licence is one of many initiatives taken by CONCACAF to bring about collective professionalism and success in the region.

Lake mentioned that the programme is relatively new; just 18 months old and it came about as CONCACAF decided to educate the coaches of the region on a one-standard basis, starting at the lowest level and building throughout the years.

CONCACAF are moving swiftly to stay among the other leading confederations and, according to Lake, they are well on track with regards to their coaches’ development.

“By next year 2015, we are looking to launch the C licence and by 2017, 2018 the B and A will follow,” Lake said.

Harris has repeatedly echoed the importance of coaches’ education to the improvement of and state of Barbados’ standard of football and instructor Lake shared Harris’ sentiments.

“We feel if we educate the coaches and arm them with the most modern information, that will really impact the level of play and the development of young players,” Lake said.

He also revealed that the confederation intends to standardise the information attained by the coaches and disseminated to the players, so as to improve football in its entirety across the region.

“The only way we can standardise is by setting standards and have coaches meeting those standards and by so doing licensed courses the FAs (football associations) across CONCACAF can use qualified coaches for the education process of young players,” Lake said.

With the association preparing to launch their 2015 grassroots project, Lake bestowed further praise on the BFA and congratulated them for recognising the importance of the grassroots division as it is where players are first introduced to the sport and from which national teams are generated.

Lake, who is scheduled to return in the New Year to conduct a FIFA grassroots course, mentioned the importance of the coaches and their education at this level.

“When these players start at six years old it is important that they get the correct coaching and the technique and tactics developed come from coaches that are qualified and who understand what it is to coach players at that age and bring out the best in them,” he said.

The Kittitian said he was proud to see that the Barbados football administration displayed the vision to establish coaching education and youth systems so that football in Barbados can go from one stage to the next successfully.

He said this is the step being taken by the powerhouses in world football such as Spain, Germany and England.

“If Barbados wants to be one of the powerhouses in the Caribbean or CONCACAF, they must continue on this path and make sure that the coaches take coaching education seriously and bring back (from courses) their knowledge to the youth systems”.

Lake said within four or five years empirical growth is possible in all national teams but the journey of coaches’ development, youth development and grassroots development must be one of longevity and steadfastness.