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Emphasis on youth training

Emphasis on youth training

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French citizen Jean Michel Benezet, a FIFA Expert, and Technical Instructor is anxious to see this country improve on the FIFA rankings. But he thinks that the emphasis has to be on the development of youngsters.

“You cannot reach a high level if you don’t train the youth,” Benezet pointed out.

He was one of the facilitators at a FIFA Long Term Planning Workshop, which was slated to end at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Conference Room yesterday.

The function opened at the same venue last Tuesday morning.

Benezet followed with rapt attention, observations and experiences of some participants on the structure of football here. Benezet pointed to areas of realistic accomplishment and if his advice is followed and things are in place, there should be development programmes involving the nation’s youth by January 2008. {{more}}

President of the local Federation, was part of the exercise and in keeping with the trend towards dealing with matters openly and frankly, Leacock made the January 2008 suggestion so as to provide the Federation with sufficient time to get a youth programme activated.

Leacock laid the plight of footballers here on the table. He also pointed to difficulties in the running of the sport. Leacock underlined football’s role as a unifying force and noted its popularity.

Leacock, a Senator in this country’s House of Parliament aligned to the opposition New Democratic Party, stressed that sports and politics do not go hand in hand.

He welcomed Tourism Youth and Sports Minister Glen Beache and indicated that whatever differences there may be along the political front, “football must be the winner.”

Beache for his part underlined the importance of nutrition for athletes. Using himself as an example, Beache pointed out that alcohol and sports did not mix. He admitted that while he was an athlete, he never consumed alcohol. The Sports Minister underlined the importance of discipline among athletes and noted that this country had conformed to Anti-doping agreements, wherein samples could be had from any sports personality at any time.

“I would like to see us in the top 50,” Beache said, in regard to this country’s improvement up the FIFA ranking, but he cited: “it requires discipline.”

Tuesday’s session heard aspects of youth football from Coach Andrew Bramble. Benezet responded to suggestions about lack of communication between Ministry of Education officials and the local Football Federation. Bramble regarded the standard of youth soccer here as “low” which he attributed to the scrappy nature of school football.

Benezet was part of FIFA team which facilitated the three day Long Term Planning Workshop.

A cross section from the football family, including females keen on the progress of this nation, benefited from the exercise.

Leacock is hoping that with the widespread national appeal for the game the nation would qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup carded for South Africa. In that regard, he looked at the four-year programme as ideal.

Also at the workshop were FIFA’s Development Officer Harold Taylor, Technical Instructor Victor Manuel Aguado, and manager of Financial Assistance programme and Development in the Americas Serge Dumortier.

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