SAFA is at present hosting a FIFA Technical Directors course. Technical Directors of national football associations from several African countries are participating in a three-day workshop. The group, led by FIFA Technical Director, Steven Martens, visited Kaizer Chiefs on Wednesday, attentively watching training sessions from the Reserve Side, the Under-19s and Under-17s.
The delegation was warmly welcomed at Chiefs Village by Chairman, Kaizer Motaung. “This is our home,” he said. “I hope you will enjoy your visit.”
They were introduced to several Chiefs officials, including Marketing Director, Jessica Motaung and Football Manager, Bobby Motaung.
The group was shown the numerous trophies the club won over the years as well as the training pitches, the High Performance Centre, the KC Store and the general offices.
Thereafter, there was work to be done. The objective of the course was for the Technical Directors to observe a training session of a South African youth team. However, before the training started, the participants learnt about the club’s philosophy towards youth development and the synergy between the first team and the academy.
Football Manager Motaung and first team coach Steve Komphela were both present at the event. The presentation was done by Under-19s coach Sundra Govinder, who spoke about the ultimate objectives of the upcoming training sessions of the three youth sides (Reserve side, U-19s, U-17s).
The Kaizer Chiefs Youth Development Academy has three soccer pitches. The various Technical Directors split up, with most deciding to watch the younger age groups, the Under-19s and Under-17s.
John Kaputa is the Technical Director for the Football Association of Malawi. “This is outstanding,” he said, while standing side-by-side with his fellow countryman, Chiefs’ assistant-coach Patrick Mabedi. “The football youth programmes are impressive. The training sessions are well-planned and the coaches intervene immediately when mistakes are made. There is a lot of talent – if Chiefs can keep these boys and get them to the next level, they will win trophies.”
FIFA’s Technical Director Martens, was similarly impressed. He explained what FIFA’s goal is with the Technical Director course. “It’s important for FIFA to assist football associations worldwide with the education of coaches and the development of soccer talents. Some associations are very well organised, others less so. With these courses we try to develop Technical Directors of various football associations. The workshop presently held at SAFA House is geared towards the Technical Directors of African football associations.
“The training centre of Kaizer Chiefs is at a European level. The academy’s pitches are in excellent condition and we like the philosophy of the club on youth development. The big things seem to be sorted – however, as we know, in top sport it’s all about the details. That’s the deciding factor in getting a talent from the youth level to eventually succeed at the professional level.”
FIFA’s Head of Technical Development Services, Jürg Nepfer, is overseeing the programme worldwide. “It’s all about helping to develop Technical Directors at the national association level,” he commented. “It’s also about getting the Technical Directors from the various African countries – in this case from South East Africa – together to exchange information. FIFA has made it obligatory in 2009 for all Football Associations to have a Technical Director. We started this development programme in 2016 and in the same year hosted the first Technical Directors workshop in Malawi.”
About Chiefs Village and the way Amakhosi’s Youth Development Academy is organised, Nepher said: “This is magnificent and a model for African Football, especially the way the club develops players. The club has a healthy philosophy with a lot of attention given to the human aspects of the young talents.”
Chiefs legend and SAFA’s Technical Director, Neil Tovey, was a keen and interested spectator at the Village. Alongside him was Tim Tjongarero from the Namibia Football Association. “This is truly great,” he enthused.
After the training session a debriefing was held during which the Technical Directors could ask the Chiefs youth coaches questions or make some remarks. “This was an afternoon well spent,” remarked FIFA’s Technical Director Martens. “Thanks for your hospitality and also thanks to your Chairman, Kaizer Motaung.”