The South African Football Association (SAFA) has lauded the five-day FIFA Youth Development Coaching Course that commenced at the National Technical Centre in Johannesburg on Monday, 3 October 2016 as the foundation of future successful national teams.

Speaking at the opening of the coaching course which is being attended by various youth coaches including those from all of SAFA’s 9 Provinces and most of the Premier Soccer League, SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble said having qualified youth coaches was critical in identifying and developing future players.

“The development of coaches is one of the most critical components of Vision 2022 which entails that we are constantly among the top 3 in Africa and top 20 in the world.

We sat down three years ago after most of our national teams had failed to qualify for major tournaments to identify reasons for the failure and chart the way forward. That is when we came up with seven streams which we identified would bring success to our national teams. Developing coaches, referees and administrators is among those components,” said Mumble.

The SAFA CEO said the biggest shortcoming in previous failures was neglecting the basics.

“We have taken over the running of our schools programmes and have poured in massive resources in these areas. There are no shortcuts to success.”

Speaking at the same opening ceremony, well known FIFA instructor, Jan Poulsen from Denmark who will conduct the course said FIFA was mindful of how critical youth development was and hence was excited to be here to conduct this seminar.

“This is an important phase if any country is to identify and develop competitive players. You need to have qualified coaches because youth development projects are the cornerstone of any sustainable success,” said Poulsen who will be assisted by SAFA’s Technical Director, Neil Tovey in conducting the course.

The 5-day coaching course will run from 3-7 October.

Poulsen is a renowned development coach and Tovey said his knowledge will have a massive impact on the country’s upcoming youth coaches.