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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Preparing Gen Next footballers

The aim of the Grassroots Football Certificate Course Level 2 is to develop coaches who nurture and teach football to children in a fun and enjoyable environment. Picture: BT file
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

THE NATIONAL Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) will launch its Grassroots Football Certificate Course Level 2 tomorrow, a three-day practical course that is sure to guarantee a brighter future for Brunei football.

It is a continuation of the Level 1 course the national body organised in August, in which 37 participants received their certificates after being taught the skills they needed to coach grassroots-level football.

With more than 20,000 players in Brunei in the 5-12 year-old bracket, it is the participants' task to provide them with the skills necessary to develop as footballers and ensure it is done in a fun and enjoyable environment.

NFABD is expected to launch its Under-12 league on December 9 and many of the coaches involved in the course will be helping out in terms of the organising and coaching.

Speaking during yesterday's press conference to announce the course, NFABD president Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Mohiddin outlined the importance of having knowledgeable coaches breed the next generation of footballers and responsible citizens.

"Like any other sport, there is no shortcut or magic (to success) in football," insisted the president at the NFABD House along Jalan Pusat Persidangan.

"It's like planting a tree, you must start from a seed ... and then that tree will bear fruit.

"For us to have a strong national football team at the senior or junior level ... we must have a strong foundation first.

"Like a house, there must be strong pillars. That can only come from the grassroots, and there are no two-ways about it!

"Grassroots football is nothing new in Brunei ... Kids play in schools, homes and mosques all across the country now we are just trying to make everything more organised.

"We are not trying to stop other ongoing programmes though, we want to consolidate everything.

"We have already declared earlier that we are going to have (a) grassroots football (programme), now we are going to implement it.

"Football teaches kids about discipline, rules, laws, competitive spirit ... These are all elements that should be nurtured as early as possible.

"With grassroots football, we feel confident these elements will be inculcated in the minds and hearts of these kids when they grow up.

"Imagine a six-year-old boy playing football without a care or concern in the world ... It's a beautiful scene!" he observed.

The highlight of the course is the mini-festival that the coaches will organise at the Berakas Sports Complex on Thursday morning.

Expected to attract 80-100 schoolchildren from the Brunei-Muara District, the mini-festival will be divided into two categories; 5-8 years-old and 9-12 years-old.

Another bigger festival is on the cards for next February, so Thursday's dry-run will be crucial in providing the coaches the experience they need to organise such events.

One of the course's two facilitators, Ali Hj Ismail said the mini-festival will serve as a test of the participants' organisational skills and ability to coach the kids.

"We want to give the coaches the skills they need to coach young kids and teach them how to make kids enjoy playing football and we will use the components taught in the course to organise the mini-festival," he said.

"They will do everything themselves register the players, divide the teams, organise the medics and drinks. We will just supervise.

"It would be good if the parents come as well so we can educate the parents on what we are doing," he added.

The course's other facilitator, Hj Puspa Hj Mohammad, said that building interest at a young age would be key in maintaining a strong base of players for the future.

"Once the interest is there, the kids will develop more and more," noted Hj Puspa.

"If there are 2,000 or 3,000 kids playing in next February's festival, we can be assured that at least 300 or 400 will develop a serious interest and hopefully they will grow to represent the country one day.

"NFABD have not even been around for two years but we have been working on developing a grassroots programme for a year," said Hj Puspa, adding that he had a two-year plan for grassroots football in the country.

He also said that the association has plans to widen the programme to other districts in the future.

However, that can only be done with a knowledgeable base of coaches - proving once again just why tomorrow's course is so important.

The Brunei Times

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