WE THANK Mr Ex-Nat Player, BSB for his views (Time to invest in national team, not coaches. Borneo Bulletin, 19 Nov 2014). NFABD is grateful for the strong and unstinting support that football enjoys among Bruneians and we are fully cognisant of our responsibilities in working for the best interest of Brunei Darussalam football.
In our NFABD Football Strategic Plan which was well endorsed by FIFA and AFC for the development of football in Brunei Darussalam, it is very important to develop quality coaches as our initial phase so that these coaches can further go out to develop players. We have targeted to develop 60 ‘C’ Certificate coaches for 2014 and equipped all of them with proper football education.
With effect from 2015, all head coaches involved in the NFABD DST Super and Premier Leagues must attain a minimum AFC ‘C’ Certificate. Currently, NFABD’s head coaches in our youth teams hold a minimum AFC ‘B’ Certificate and the assistant coaches in our development programme have at least an AFC ‘C’ Certificate.
We believe that with our structure for the youth development programme assisted by the development of coaches in our coach education programme, we will progress to raise our football standard to compete in future international competitions.
Assuming that one quality coach, who is AFC-qualified and well-trained technically, can develop five quality young players in a year, with the 60 coaches that we have targeted in 2014, we can look forward to growing the base of 300 better quality young players targeted with good structured training.
It is also our priority to put in place a good youth development structure with the formation of our U12, U14, U17 and U20 teams so that we can look forward to a big base of quality players to form the National ‘A’ team in the near future. We are looking into the formation of a structure for the National ‘A’ team in 2015.
We have put in place the following youth teams below to prepare for major international competitions as these players will progress to build a stronger National ‘A’ team in the near future.
2015 SEA Games – for youth players born between 1992 and 1996 (NFABD U20 has players in 1993 to 1996 categories);
2016 Suzuki Cup – above mentioned players will form the base with the inclusion of senior players playing in DPMM FC and teams in DST leagues;
2017 SEA Games – for youth players born between 1994 and 1998 (NFABD U20 has players born between 1994 and 1996 and NFABD U17 has players born between 1997 and 1998);
2018 Suzuki Cup – a bigger base of players including those born in 1997 and 1998;
2019 SEA Games (in Brunei) – for players born between 1996 and 1999 (NFABD U20 has players born in 1996 and NFABD U17 has players born between 1997 and 1999);
2020 Suzuki Cup – a bigger base of players including those born in 1999;
2021 SEA Games – for players born between 1998 and 2001 (NFABD U17 has players born in 1998 and 1999 and NFABD U14 has players born in 2000 and 2001;
2022 Suzuki Cup – bigger base of players including those born in 2000 and 2001;
2023 SEA Games – for players born between 2000 and 2001 (NFABD U14 has players born in 2000 and 2001).
Regarding the DST FA Cup, we have in fact sent two NFABD teams (U14 and U17) for participation to gain more playing exposure and also for players’ assessments after coming off a good 8-9 months of training this year.
Despite being eliminated in the first round, it was heartening to see our U14 team competing well with senior players in their 20s and 30s. The level of performance justified our 10-month training from the beginning of the year.
Our NFABD U17 team has in fact progressed through to the third round and will play against PDBD (DST Super League team). These players are all below 17 years of age. We need to give as much opportunities for the youth players to gain exposure in the structured programme.
On the usage of FIFA money, we are very careful and have considered all these expenditures as these monies are well audited by FIFA-assigned international auditors each year.
As mentioned above, under our Football Strategic Plan, we will build a strong Natio-nal ‘A’ team with a strong youth development programme producing quality youth players. This can only be achieved if we have a base of good quality coaches that we are in the progress of building. Coach education plays an important part in the overall strategy to ultimately produce a strong National ‘A’ team.
We would like to assure Mr Ex Nat Player that we have put in place a good set of structured programmes for the football development in this country and are currently working tirelessly to realise all these targets.
While we are progressing well in most of our programmes under the Youth Development and Coach Education, there remains much hard work ahead to achieve excellence at all levels.
NFABD would like to extend our appreciation to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Ministry of Education for their constant support. With the guidance of our president, we would like to call upon our stakeholders, including fans and the media, to continue to work with us to raise the standard of football in Brunei Darussalam.