The leadership role of a top coach and the next FIFA Women's World Cup were under the spotlight as the 1st UEFA Women's National Team Coaches Conference concluded on Wednesday at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with delegates also having their say on several issues.
UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh addressed the topic of 'The Leadership Role of a Coach'. Stating that a coach must be a technician, a manager and a leader, Andy Roxburgh focused on the third of those roles, examining how a coach can inspire players, take and delegate responsibility, manage crises and achieve results. The UEFA technical director said: "It takes talent to manage talent, and it takes talent to lead talent", and, drawing on his personal experiences and those of many other leading coaches, he analysed the different qualities needed in a leader: power, responsibility, optimism, communication, emotions, courage, ideas, adaptability, curiosity and humility. "And often the difference comes down to leadership qualities," he added.
Former German international Steffi Jones, the president of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup local organising committee in her home country, gave an update on preparations for the final tournament as well as for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Steffi Jones set out the goals of building on the success of the friendly 2006 FIFA World Cup, which in her words "changed Germany's image", and explained their plans for promoting the event, selling tickets and sponsorship, recruiting volunteers and engaging in social projects to leave a legacy from the tournament.
On Tuesday the conference participants split into four groups to examine specific issues confronting women's football. Today the discussion leaders – the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ technical team of Anna Noë (Belgium), Béatrice von Siebenthal (Switzerland), Anna Signeul (Scotland) and Ignacio Quereda (Spain) – summarised their conclusions, presenting suggestions about player and coach development, the promotion of the game, international competitions and financial support. Karen Espelund of the UEFA Women's Football Committee welcomed the contributions of the delegates and took note of their comments, and Andy Roxburgh then reviewed the three-day conference.
Reflecting on the event, Netherlands coach Vera Pauw told uefa.com: "This is really worthwhile. This is the best meeting we have had; it really gives a chance to us all. In women's football a lot of us face the same problems in our own countries, even the developed countries. So being together gives so much energy. And, most importantly, it gives us the ideas and coaching tools to progress."
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