A total of 88 coaches came together at Bangor City FC for the FAW’s Grassroots Coaching Conference for the north Wales area, demonstrating the strength of grassroots football in the region.
Coaches got the chance to re-validate current awards, whilst developing their knowledge and skills with keynote presentations from the FAW’s technical director and Wales assistant manager Osian Roberts and James Hunter, academy head of coaching at Stoke City.
Roberts, who will be heading to Euro 2016 with Chris Coleman and his squad this summer, delivered a morning presentation on ‘The Welsh Way’ – an overview of the culture and philosophy of the national team, focused on the qualifying campaign that engaged a nation.
Former pro Gareth Owen delivered a session on ‘Breaking Lines’ before Hunter brought the day to a close with a presentation on the ‘Player of Tomorrow’.
“It was a fantastic event to host here at the club,” said a Bangor City FC spokesperson. “Great to see so many coaches from across the north Wales coast area coming to benefit from the expertise of Osian Roberts, James Hunter and the rest of the FAW staff.”
The conference was also a big hit with the coaches themselves, including Darren Vaughan, who was looking forward to putting the drills he learned into practice with his under-10s team.
— Darren Vaughan (@dazzler1978) March 1, 2016
Meanwhile, World Cup winner Patrick Vieira has been praising the Football Association of Wales’ coach education programme, which he used to obtain his coaching badges.
The Frenchman, who won three Premier League titles and four FA Cup winners medals with Arsenal, is now the coach of newly-formed New York City FC.
The Gunners legend chose to complete his coaching badges through the FAW – along with compatriots David Ginola and Thierry Henry and Everton manager Roberto Martinez – and is full of praise for the learning environment established by the FAW at their Dragon Park home in Newport.
“I chose the Welsh FA because I like the vision of what they see in coaches, because being a coach is not like reading a book,” Vieira told BBC Sport. “They are more holding our hand.”
“I love the way that, at the Welsh FA, their mind is really open and what Thierry Henry will do as a coach is really different to what I will do and different again to what Roberto Martinez will do. They are not trying to mould you.
“So there is a different way of being a coach. They are helping me, Thierry and Roberto to find our way. They are more working together than just telling you ‘no, you have to go on the right, you have to go on the left’.
“I believe this is why I felt really comfortable working with Osian Roberts and the Welsh FA.”
Arsenal’s record goalscorer Henry this month took another step up the coaching ladder with the FAW, having collected his UEFA A Licence alongside mentor Osian Roberts.
— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) March 10, 2016
2016 National Coaches Conference
The FAW National Coaches Conference will take place at the National Football Development Centre, Dragon Park and the Celtic Manor Resort on Friday 20 – Sunday 22 May.
The conference provides a platform for all involved in Welsh football to learn and develop, whilst it remains a revalidation course for UEFA Pro, A and B Licence holders.
After successful appearances in 2015, both Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira will be returning to the 2016 conference as speakers, where they will be sharing their vast knowledge and experience from the game.
The course costs £325 and online applications are open at the new online home of coach education in Wales: fawcourses.com