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Brunei Town

All eyes on coaches

Fadhil Yunus

Several aspects should be considered to enhance the growth and development of football in the Sultanate, with one being the quality of coaching.

To this end, the need to develop internationally-recognised local coaches has been identified as one of the main focusses of the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) – the national governing body of football in Brunei.

The increasing number of courses and workshops demonstrates the association’s unwavering commitment towards strengthening capacity building in producing qualified local coaches.

To complement such efforts, the Brunei Darussalam Association of Football Coaches (BDAFC) was recently established after local coaches gathered ideas and shared thoughts and opinions.

It was accepted as a constitutional association on August 4, 2020 and as an affiliated member under the parent body of football FABD on November 11, 2020.

The association aims to foster and strengthen cooperation among competent coaches in the country; increase the quality of coaching in the country; safeguard the interests and rights of coaches; and assist and serve the football association.

Since the country’s suspension from FIFA was lifted in 2011, the visibility of coaching development has been more apparent with young coaches upgrading their coaching expertise overseas.

This is notably evident from the journeys of local coaches like Mohammad Ikhmarol Izzat bin Haji Omar, who took the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ‘A’ Licence in Maldives in 2018 and Haji Ameer Aziz-Hakim bin Haji Abdul Lani, who took the AFC ‘A’ Licence in Cambodia in 2020.

Besides the duo, Aminuddin Jumat attended the AFC Licence in Bangkok in 2020 while newly-elected BDAFC President Pengiran Serfuddin bin Pengiran Haji Md Salleh attended the AFC ‘C’ Licence in Singapore in 2004 and the AFC ‘B’ Licence in 2013.

Several other coaches have also participated in AFC coaching courses in Kuala Lumpur and
Kota Kinabalu.

Following the appointment of a technical director in 2013, the country witnessed a rapid increase in the number of local coaches who were bold and took on the challenge to increase their competency in coaching knowledge and training.

During the FABD ‘C’ Certificate Coaching Course presentation ceremony held virtually last December, FABD Deputy President Haji Salleh Bostaman bin Haji Zainal Abidin said, “With the new infrastructure and new engagement with the stakeholders, hopefully we will be able to increase the quality of coaching and refereeing in the country.”

He added, “It is our aspiration in FABD to have full-time coaches that will be aided by FABD for the national team, the youth team and grassroots teams.

Obtaining coaching qualifications will provide aspiring coaches opportunities to fill in much-sought positions such as national coach, fitness and goalkeeping coach.

Meanwhile, a participant during the FABD ‘C’ Certificate Coaching course highlighted that the characteristics of a modern coach include having their own philosophy, charisma as a leader, being guided with the latest technology and understand the attitude of players as well as being knowledgeable in football in general.

The need to produce local coaches is especially important as it contributes to the progress of the clubs and players.

Certified local coaches will be able devise specific training programmes and frameworks relevant to global practice, thus boosting their chances for success especially in their participation at domestic competitions.

Furthermore, gaining a reputation in the football community as a coach with proven credentials will also attract clubs to chase for their signature.

In 2018, two-time Brunei Super League winners Indera SC acquired the services of well-respected local coach Mohd Darus bin Tanjung, who went on to mastermind the club’s successful campaign to the DST FA Cup and Sumbangsih Cup titles in his debut season.

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