Futsal coaches coming through New Zealand Football’s renowned Coach Education Pathway are likely to see further doors open to them around the world after the receiving of confederation-wide recognition for the country’s highest futsal qualification.
The NZF Futsal Level 3 Coaching Award has now been officially recognised by the Oceania Football Confederation as an OFC C-Licence, further underlining the quality of coach development on these shores and bringing the small-sided code further into line with its football cousin, which currently offers the OFC / NZF A-Licence and B-Licence.
“NZF Coach Development and OFC Education and Training have made significant strides in recent years and this is another great example of our continued collaboration,” says NZF Coach Development Manager Steven Dillon.
“It excites us that futsal is now part of this agreement in addition to the long-standing recognition of football courses on offer. Further confederation-wide recognition is crucial to the currency of our coach education awards, both domestically and globally, and we are working hard to ensure further opportunities are recognised as part of the NZF Coach Education Pathway.”
The inaugural NZF Futsal Level 3 Coaching Award was held last December and brought over 20 of futsal’s most passionate proponents together in Auckland. It was the first specialised advanced futsal course on offer in this country and its successful graduates have so far included Alejo Perez Leguizamon and recently-appointed Futsal Ferns coach Nic Downes, as well as Futsal Whites players Josh Margetts and Bakr Al-Saudi.
Margetts, who also acts as the Futsal Development Manager for New Zealand Football, says the recognition of the award by OFC is a huge step forward in the continual development of futsal, which has undergone rapid rates of progress in recent years and is one of the country’s fastest-growing sports.
“This support from OFC will have a strong impact on the futsal community taking up further formal coach education opportunities in the future,” he says.
“Increasing the number and quality of futsal coach education opportunities is a high priority for us considering the significant growth in futsal participation over the past five years. The ability to provide such opportunities to our passionate futsal community will only help develop the game further.”
Paul Toohey, Futsal/Beach Soccer and Player Development Officer for OFC, is pleased to be able to endorse an award he feels will be crucial to the continued development of futsal.
“The rapid growth in futsal player numbers under New Zealand Football has been matched by an increasing demand for specialist futsal coaches at both participation and performance levels, so the graduation of this group is a significant step towards meeting that demand,” he says.
“Everyone involved in the coaching award should be very proud of this dedicated group of instructors and coaches, all of whom will undoubtedly contribute to New Zealand Football’s busy programme of regional, national and international futsal competition in the coming years.”
New Zealand Football’s Coach Education Pathway has experienced a ground-breaking period over the past two years with a string of exciting new initiatives and courses being introduced. It is now seen by Sport New Zealand as one of the country’s leading programmes in this area and there are close to 20,000 coaches registered all over the nation.