Record number of GFF Coaches pursuing Concacaf ‘C’ licence

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The Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) Technical Department has accelerated its efforts to upskill homegrown coaching talent, with a record number of Academy Training Centre, GFF and national team coaches starting the journey towards Concacaf ‘C’ licence certification.

Fourteen coaches, including Under-20 Men’s Team Head Coach Wayne Dover, Golden Jaguars Assistant Coach Charles Pollard, GFF Coach Education and Development Officer Lyndon France, GFF Goalkeeping Coach Eon DeViera and Head Coach for the domestic-based Lady Jags Akilah Castello, began the multi-module course in December.

The first part of the “blended learning” programme, facilitated by Anton Corneal, Concacaf Coaching Educator and former Technical Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, involved online theoretical lessons followed by practical sessions with players at the GFF National Training Centre between December 1 and 7.

“The GFF is committed to investing in the development of local coaches to drive improvements throughout football, from grassroots level to senior national teams, and we are delighted to see such a strong appetite from our talented coaches to upskill and realise their own potential with the formal Concacaf structures of coaching qualifications,” said GFF Technical Director Ian Greenwood.

“Having more coaches at this level of certification means that our national coaching philosophy and pathway will be strengthened over the long-term, increasing the pool of talent we have available for the impactful delivery of our programmes, for national team duties and for technical opportunities within the GFF,” Greenwood said.

The internationally-recognised licence will give participating coaches the skills and knowledge to design and deliver effective coaching sessions for a wider range of players and scenarios, especially for youth football development through the GFF’s nationwide network of Academy Training Centres.

“It’s a blessing to be able to access a course of this nature and it will definitely improve and strengthen my ability to teach the game of football. It also means that the Technical Director and the GFF see me as an asset to the development of this sport in Guyana,” said Castello.

“This course will provide information that would allow me to deliver coaching sessions targeting not only individuals but relationships between a bank of players. It’s definitely a step forward and I’m excited about this new growth in my career.”

Georgetown Football Association Youth Development Officer and course participant Colin Nelson said the certification would enable him to “gain the knowledge and experience necessary to accomplish my goals”.

“This course means a lot to me because I aspire to make a difference in football as a coach[1]teacher and in the lives of the persons I intend to teach,” Nelson said. “I know that for me to reach those heights, I need the knowledge and experience necessary to reach my full potential.”

“This course is helping my development as a coach by arming me with the tools and knowledge necessary to lead and teach positively,” he added.

“It has also given me a platform to challenge myself mentally because of the amount of information and perspectives from the instructors and other coaches.”

After inheriting an ecosystem of coaches with no valid qualifications in 2015, the Technical Department has since enabled the progress of an all-time high 61 coaches to ‘D’ licence or ‘C’ licence level, alongside three Guyanese Concacaf coaching instructors, as well as introduced a coaching philosophy and pathway to ensure a uniform approach to football development across the GFF’s nine regional associations.

The number of coaches with ‘D’ license or ‘C’ licence certification will increase to 75 as a result of the current course. Assistant Technical Director Bryan Joseph and GFF Coach Mentor Sampson Gilbert are working their way towards qualifying as Concacaf ‘B’ license coaches in 2022.

“I want to congratulate this cohort of coaches for stepping up and striving for this level of professional certification,” said GFF President Wayne Forde.

“In the coming years, as more men and women move through the continuous and incremental licensing process that is standard practice throughout the football world, the GFF will be able to meet all of its coaching needs through local talent, including national team appointments.”

“We inherited a neglected environment for the professional advancement and training of our homegrown coaches, but with patience and investment, we are now making up for those lost years,” Forde said.

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