Senior Vice President of the Barbados Football Association Captain Al Walcott has declared that the technical aspect of local football needs to be improved.
His comments came during the opening ceremony of a FIFA three-day technical director’s workshop at The Courtyard by Marriott, Hastings, Christ Church yesterday.
The workshop is part of a pilot project, and a follow up to courses held in Antigua and Barbuda and Jamaica in 2016. This installation of the project has attracted technical directors (TD) from 11 regional Member Associations.
“We recognise the technical aspects of the game is the bread and butter of the TDs function within any Member Association, and this is a time where you will be able to feed off each other’s experiences, and strengthen your functions and techniques as you go back to your Member Associations, and try to develop the beautiful game of football,” he said.
He noted that within the BFA’s strategic plan, technical development was one of the key priorities areas.
“Our plan is aimed at improving the technical knowledge of coaches, and to establish a long-term plan which is aimed at improving the standards of competitiveness of the game here in Barbados. I believe that this workshop is timely as it will guide us into the next three years of our plan for the development of football in Barbados,” he said.
Describing the technical director as a shepherd, he said his role was to mould, nurture and protect.
“His job is to mould the proper selection, instruction and example that he will set for those players he has a function over. He must nurture through quality programmes, providing quality soil and nutrients, meaning that he provides the quality grounds and the quality environments. The nutrients will be the coaches, training plans and mentorship provided.
“I believe from this course you will recognise part of that nurturing is not to wait until the tree is bent to try to straighten it back out, but rather to get that tree from its young stage and allow that tree to continue to grow strong, where it relates to the technical side and discipline of the game,” he explained.
The former footballer added another role of the technical director was to protect all the “sheep of his flock”.
“He protects the player from drugs and alcohol. He protects the player from those sideline coaches and those people who bring ideas and techniques that are not quality and will do more harm to the player,” he said.
He stressed following the course, if those key elements were put together as the leaders go back to their respective Member Associations, and continued to develop the game in the region, then when teams are called up to the World Cup, they will boast quality technical players.