Sport

Raise the bar!

Webb calls on coaches to help improve women’s game

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, July 24, 2014    

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CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, on Monday, urged coaches at the FIFA/Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Women's Coaching Course to raise the standard of female football in island and qualify for a historic World Cup.

"Lets raise the standard of football not only in Jamaica but throughout the region as we all know that Jamaica is the standard bearer," Webb, also a FIFA ice-president said. "Captain (Horace Burrell) reminds us all the time that Jamaica is the first English-speaking country in the Caribbean to qualify for the World Cup, so I challenge you today, let Jamaica be the first English-speaking female team to qualify for the World Cup," said Webb, at the start of the five-day training course.

FIFA Instructor Dawn Scott will conduct the Jamaica Money Market Brokers-sponsored sessions consisting of 23 individuals, including at least six female participants.

"We will not see the benefits of what you are doing today. We are not going to judge the generation off what is happening now, the next generation will judge you," Webb added.

"It's an honour for me to highlight what I deem the most important part of football, more specifically football in our region. For us in our confederation, this is a FIFA workshop and coaching course and it is so important for us to retool, to educate ourselves and continue to learn new trends.

"The game is changing everyday, so much science has become involved, education has become so important from a preparation standpoint, from a coaching standpoint, from development cycles and formations and technical and tactical," he noted.

Webb noted that while the CONCACAF region, mainly the United States of America (USA), Canada and to a lesser extent Mexico, have kept the region at the forefront of women's football, he wants to see the other countries, especially those in the Caribbean, step up to the plate and be a major factor.

"While our confederation globally is known around the world as the women's football headquarters, I am concerned because of course, the United States, Canada and Mexico in recent years have carried that flag and have created that image and perception to the world. We in the region need to step up and educate our players. We need to develop better players. We need to provide better opportunities for them," said the CONCACAF boss whose reign started in 2012.

"As we continue to evolve as a region (Caribbean), we still have never yet qualified one female team to a women's World Cup and more unfortunately, we have not qualified any of the men's in recent times."

Several Caribbean women's qualifiers are currently taking place in the region as the senior teams hunt spots to the seventh staging of the Women's World Cup set for next June in Canada.

USA (1991, 99) and Germany (2003, 2007) with two titles apiece are the most successful nations since the inception in 1991. Sweden (1995) and Japan (2011) are the other two champions.

"It's for us to raise the standard of football and it starts with you. You are the ones who are going to prepare the players. It's not myself or Captain (Burrell) or the sponsors, it's you who are to prepare the players and teach them the techniques and tactics.

"You are the ones who are going to inspire them for the rest of their careers to build their love for the sport and it is so important as coaches that at an early age you capture their imaginations," said Webb.

"So it is important that every single player gets the opportunity and every single player who has that God-given ability, that talent, that we bring it out of them and allow them to develop to their full capacity, and if we don't then we all fail.

"I ask you today to understand the responsibility that you all have because so many people are entrusting you with their kids, with their talents and they are expecting you to bring the best out of them," concluded Webb.

The coaching course will involve the demands of football; fitness testing for football; analysis of fitness testing; developing aerobic fitness (practical); developing an annual programme; developing a training session; consideration for female players; strength development (practical); importance of nutrition; multiple game and tournament considerations, and developing power and agility.

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