Friday, April 25, 2014

Success the only option

CHALLENGE: Khairy is prepared to stake his reputation on NFDP

THE National Football Development Programme (NFDP) will cast its net wide in the search for coaches as Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin staked his reputation on the success of the 17-year initiative.

About 2,500 coaches will be needed at the grassroots level by 2020 from the present 387 to meet Khairy’s goal for Malaysia to be “Asian champions and knocking on the door of the World Cup and Olympics.”

Khairy said former players will be encouraged to join the programme as coaches but also opened the door to parents, working professionals and others who may want to contribute.

“We are opening the door as wide as possible to anyone who has an interest in developing football,” said Khairy after closing the three-day NFDP Coaching Symposium in Seri Kembangan yesterday.
“They can be an accountant or an engineer, if they have an interest in football, they can come forward.

“They don’t necessarily have to hold a licence, they can be involved part-time, by helping out with the drills. They can attend two-week courses on the basics of grassroots coaching.
“Especially parents, who most often are side-line coaches. Rather than shout from the sidelines, they can come and get involved.”

Around 170 coaches from NFDP’s Under-12 Tunas Academy (52), district training centres (52), state sport schools (29), private academies (15), national sport schools (six), FA of Malaysia (three) and others attended the symposium.

Among the presenters were Queens Park Rangers academy head Richard Allen, German Football Federation coaching instructor Bernd Stober and Fifa technical consultant Takeshi Ono.
Khairy told the participants that he is looking beyond success at regional level and Malaysia must aim higher in order to start producing results after 10 years.

“We have already won Sea Games gold and the AFF Cup. This is a national project and no longer about looking for success in Southeast Asia,” he said.
“If that is the case, there is no need for this plan. This is a plan for Malaysia to be Asian champions, to be knocking on the door of the World Cup and Olympics.

“If you just want to be champions of Southeast Asia, then don’t waste my time. This symposium is important to develop world class grassroots coaches.
“I have staked my reputation and time to ensure the success of this programme. I will micro-manage this programme so that things get done.

“We will hold meetings every three months to review and monitor the programme and ensure the centres are opened according to the plan.
“It will take us more than 10 years (to be Asian champions) and I may not be here (as sports minister) by then but the records will show we invested a lot.”

NFDP project director Lim Teong Kim will lead an Under-12 team of 22 players and several coaches to Germany at the end of next month for competitions and friendly matches.

The coaches will get a chance to see how Bayern Munich, where Teong Kim used to work, coach their youth while the team will also play against Nuremberg and Red Bull Salzburg.

In September, several coaches will be attached with QPR for three or four months to gain grassroots coaching exposure.

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