BIG AH YAAD, BIG ABROAD
Concacaf Senior Development Manager Andre Waugh says the association is seeking to create global opportunities for Jamaican football coaches and their regional counterparts through its education programmes.
Concacaf, the regional governing body, launched its ‘Coaching Convention’ in 2022 – a regulatory framework intended to “standardise and raise the quality of coach education programmes across the 41 member associations.”
Concacaf says “its ultimate goal is to provide coaches with an established confederation-wide coaching pathway ranging from the Concacaf C, B, A to a Pro License.”
Waugh told the Jamaica Observer that the initiative will open doors internationally for local and regional individuals who want to coach at higher levels.
“The convention is the first step,” he said. “We want to ensure we have a certification or qualification that matches up with that of our other sister confederations. In this scheme, we’ve worked together with UEFA as consultants on the project and one of the things we wanted to do was to ensure the minimum standards aren’t just minimum standards that will govern us as a confederations. The future is a future that is borderless where coaches within our confederation will be able to seize opportunities because of what they have achieved within the region.
“When you think about a coach like Theodore Whitmore who has the highest win percentage in the history of our national team, he should be able to seize opportunities outside [and] you think about other coaches who have done well within the region. What we want to do is provide access to high level education that our coaches can take advantage of opportunities that they have worked hard for.”
Over the years, countries like Jamaica have hired overseas coaches to be part of their national football set-up. While some have voiced their concerns over the practice, Waugh wants to see Jamaican coaches with more options.
“We’re about opportunities and for me, the starting point is ensuring that we have coaches who are educated, who are at the level to lead our national teams; that for me is what the critical thing is. It’s not whether or not it’s a local coaching the national team because I believe the same way people come here, is the same way we need to have a plan as a federation to export our coaches, to have our coaches across the region being gainfully employed and that’s really the mission we’re on.
“We want to ensure we have right coaches right across the region who can move across borders, once they have the quality, once their record suggests they should have opportunities to coach elsewhere. That’s what the future looks like for us, it’s not a matter of Jamaicans coaching in Jamaica, it’s really a matter of ensuring that we have the highest standard available and then the member associations choose what they so desire.”
Waugh and other high-ranking officials at Concacaf and world governing body FIFA recently conducted a coach educators’ course in Jamaica where 18 coach educators from seven Concacaf member associations received the necessary exposure to lead the development and mentoring of student coaches in the region.