FIFA OFC American Samoa Youth Course kicks off at FFAS headquarters
The 2013 FIFA OFC American Samoa Youth Coaching Course kicked off on May 20 with strong challenges issued forth by FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua to the 25 participants.
“I challenge you not to come to this course to get a new bag, new shoes and outfit but to learn everything that you can and then share it with your club,” Taumua explained. “Coaches, you are the ones that can do the most in developing our sport and players in American Samoa!”
Taumua, opening the course on behalf of FFAS President Faiivae Alex Godinet and the executive committee, went on to say that one of the problems is that “there is no sustainability” in the coaching ranks.
“Every year, when we hold these courses there are always new faces and that’s why our competition sometimes is very poor.”
Daniel Shirley, OFC Player Development Manager and also instructor for the course, concurred with Taumua’s explanation, adding that “this doesn’t happen just in American Samoa” but in other OFC MA’s as well.
“You cannot learn to be a great coach in the three and a half days of this course,” Shirley pointed out. “It’s what you do with the material and the information you receive that makes you a great coach because ultimately it is up to you to develop great players.
“And that’s one of the main objectives as a coach— to develop great players.”
“You are going to learn a lot during from Daniel and our association hopes to benefit from you as a coach because next year, American Samoa will compete in the OFC Women’s U-17 competition,” Taumua said, “and we will need a coach for that team.
“This is one reason the association tries to educate you coaches so that you can be a potential national team coach for American Samoa at these international competitions,” continued Taumua. “So hopefully we will be able to identify a potential coach for this team from one of you participants.”
He pointed to the success of the men’s National Team during the 2011 OFC 1st Stage, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifiers in Samoa and the men’s U-17 team of 2013 as positive examples for American Samoa and FFAS.
“We beat Tonga (2-1), drew with Cook Islands (1-1) and then lost (during injury time) to Samoa 1-0,” Taumua said. “We used to lose to Tonga 4-0 and Samoa 7-0 and now we’ve improved.”
“During the (2013 OFC) U-17 tournament, the Cook Islands was the favorite team and we beat them 3-0 and then lost to Tonga 3-2 at the end,” he explained. “The association believes that we can improve on these results and it is up to you coaches to improve yourselves so that this can be possible.”
This is the second course conducted by Shirley, who instructed a similar course in 2012. Shirley will close the course on May 23.
“It is my job to try to conduct programs based on each country’s strengths and weaknesses and that’s why talking and seeing all of you in your environment helps me to understand these needs,” Shirley said. “And there’s no better way to start than the grassroots and youth levels.”