Me and Lee on the Podium in Cario
Representing Africa's Nation Team Coaches in a panel discussion
Welcome to my new and very much improved website designed by Gary Graham, I must say has done a wonderful job and hope you all like it. www.madcoms.co.uk
Last week I was invited and attended the recent FIFA/CAF Conference in Cairo on the World Cup in Brazil, it was for all the National Team Coaches and the National Technical Directors. Alongside me in the photo above is Lee Johnson who has recently joined me in Rwanda as the TD and he will also run our Youth Development program. I must say his enthusiasm and work ethic is very good and he has already made a very positive impact.
The conference was a great chance for all of African football to get together and share problems as well as catch up with the latest findings on the recent World Cup. I was also pleased to meet so many old friends and met several new ones as well and really enjoyed the couple of days we had in Cairo.
Speaking about the National Coaches it was shocking to hear some of the problems that my colleges at the World Cup faced and had to deal with. Ghana’s problems off the pitch were well documented as were the Cameroons, it was mind boggling that the things we were hearing could be possible at that level. During one of the discussions I asked the panel a question, this was met with a round of applause half way through the question particularly by my fellow National Coaches. The question for me was quite logical and something I would really like to see at least at the National team level, “Why is it that coaches are required to be qualified, referees are required to be qualified yet the administrators of the world who make critical decisions that affect everything are the only ones who do not need to have been educated in their line of work” FIFA of course offer some administration courses but it is not a pass or fail type course and it is generally done over the course of 3-4 days really not enough time. Many people forget that the administration side of the game is vitally important to that of any National Team or club and really don’t give it the importance it deserves.
I was invited to be a member of a panel discussion where my particular topic centred around the “Difficulties of the National Coach in Africa” a huge topic and one that was met with a great deal of consternation by all of the coaches there. We went off into a group and we split off into Anglo phone and Franco phone to discuss what the problems were. We had an hour !! not nearly enough time to cover everything but there was a good comradery and we came up with several key points.
I have listed a couple of them,
1. Travel logistics, long waits at long hours due to poor connections and bookings.
2. The red tape when dealing with government offices in the release of funds.
3. Team bonuses and allowances.
4. Poor administration.
5. The lack of appropriate medical care
One of the vital points that I cannot stress enough is that of the number of people involved in deciding what happens at the National team level, by that I mean who should decide where the team stays, where they camp, and so on. The German National team who decide is made up of two people who handle the logistical side of things and then the National Coach. Sadly in Africa we have so many committees made up of people who mean well but are not at the sharp end of things. This can be a huge problem when you are trying to get things done, for me the German way as is the case in many countries the best way. Too many non-football people floating about the hotel, making footballing decisions is in my opinion a recipe for disaster.
On the pitch sadly there is not much if anything to talk about trying to arrange friendly games is proving very difficult for a variety of reasons and I am shall we say losing my mind not being on the pitch, one of the major drawbacks at the International level for me.
I really do miss the day to day interaction and the banter with the players quite a bit but then the pride I feel leading out any of the National teams is well at times overwhelming. Hopefully we can secure one or two games in the coming weeks and I can get back on the pitch.
Well I think that is enough for my first blog on the new site and really hope that you like what you see………………..
All the very best until next time