UEFA celebrates the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the European Coaching Licence in London over the coming week.
The seventh UEFA Symposium for Coach Education Directors is being held between Monday and Wednesday at the Grange City Hotel in London, and will focus on events that have taken place in the decade since six UEFA member associations - France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain and Italy - were the first to sign the UEFA Convention on the Mutual Recognition of Coaching Qualifications.
Review and preview
Now, virtually the whole of the European football family is involved, with 52 of the 53 national associations part of the programme at various levels. Some 174,000 coaches have a licence endorsed by UEFA. The objective of the London symposium will be to review the project over the ten years since its inception, and to introduce the next phase which will include a specialised élite youth-level diploma. High-profile guests and speakers including Gérard Houllier, Fabio Capello and Sir Trevor Brooking, will contribute to the event.
Upgrading coach education
The Coaching Convention was set up with the objective to upgrade coach education within the European national associations. Consequently, minimum criteria are set up for the three training levels (B, A and Pro). If any UEFA member association meets these criteria, it can become a member of the Convention. Another crucial facet is the protection of the coaching profession and free movement of qualified coaches within Europe in harmony with European legislation. UEFA also encourages coach education exchange and the sharing of technical knowledge between the associations.
UEFA's Coaching Convention reflects the desire to have compulsory coaching licences in all member associations. All teams, and especially professional clubs, should employ only coaches who have undergone coach education and hold an appropriate licence - a view that meets the requirements of the UEFA club licensing system.
London's symposium will centre on the next phase of work under the coaching convention, and on effective player development through good coaching. UEFA works in this area according to the principle that well-trained coaches will help to produce high-quality footballers/teams, thereby increasing standards throughout Europe. "We must all strive for high quality, attractive football at all levels, and coach education within the national associations plays a key role in this context," says UEFA President Michel Platini in his welcome message to the symposium.
"At UEFA level, we will strive to maintain the high quality of our technical programmes, to develop, move with the times and to ensure the continuing success of European football". "As UEFA President, it is heartening to see that the European national associations are working hard and working hand in hand, in an effort to maintain and improve the quality of coach education across Europe under the banner of the UEFA Coaching Convention," Mr Platini adds. "As a former professional player and "sélectionneur", or head coach, I realise the significance and importance of the technical side of our game and I believe that working together, meeting at events like this and sharing experience from all over the continent, brings us benefits that cannot be found elsewhere".
Apart from a keynote talk on UEFA's Coaching Convention, UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh will make a presentation on the trends in top-level football - a number of these topics were discussed by leading coaches at the latest UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum two weeks ago (click here). Officials from the Football Association will highlight coach education in England, and a selection from Tottenham Hotspur FC's development scheme will contribute to a practical session which will take place at the Wembley Stadium.
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