Portrait of the month, Willy Schmid

When we called him to discuss his career and his vision of Swiss football, Willy Schmid was about to travel to Vienna, where he was set to attend the annual Symposium of the Austrian Football Coaches Federation, of which he is an active member. One of his numerous activities. Indeed, the man that was appointed as AEFCA’s treasurer last September is extremely busy, offering his experience and knowledge of football at the service of many prestigious institutions.

A Football expert

Member of the Austrian and German coaches Associations, he is also serving for the Swiss one as Vice-President. He is a lead instructor and member of the “talent promotion and training” of the Swiss Football Association (SFV). He also held a position technical and formation director in the Basel district for ten years, a role he ceased to practice three years ago. This mission included the promotion of talents, the training of the selection teams but also the promotion of women’s football and futsal, another area in which Willy Schmid is an expert.

His involvement for FC Basel 1893

« My work for FC Basel represents 50% of my activities related to football. I am not in direct control of a team at the moment because I am travelling a lot! ». If he is involved in lots of different organisations, Willy Schmid remains a man devoted to one club. After playing and learning how to be a coach there, Schmid has been contracted by the FC Basel for different tasks:

He is in charge of the Youth+Sport initiative (jugendundsport), « an operation supported by the Swiss Confederation, which allows the accompaniment of children in their practice of sports. »

He is also directing the FCB kids-camps, which offers the opportunity to kids aged between 6 and 12 to learn football in a fun environment. Nine camps are held throughout the year, with training sessions in the morning and games during the afternoon.

He serves as Sports Director of a partner club (FC Concordia Basel), which plays in Swiss 2nd Regional level. The aim of Schmid’s mission is to send young FC Basel players to the partner club, to help them progress and be able to control their evolution at all times.

The other important role he has as part of FC Basel is the one of technical director at the SCORT Foundation. The foundation, formed with other professional football clubs (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, SV Werder Bremen, FK Austria Vienna and Queens Park Rangers FC), organises social football projects in countries in need. « The objective is to help those countries in developing football. We want to offer the gift of playing football to as many kids as possible, and help their educators in obtaining a diploma equivalent to UEFA C Degree, that will allow them to organise tournaments, football festivals and prepare their training sessions. »

His approach on Swiss Football

« We provoked a major turning point in our coaches’ formation in the middle of the 90’s, which has defined the evolution of our football during the last twenty years. We have established that to manage a team, whether it is a junior or senior team, a coach needs to get a diploma. We also provided our elite clubs with our aid to help them regarding the organisation of their structure, the foundation of their academy and the proper operation of the club. The progress we have made is very important, we have formed a lot of good coaches, and we now have a lot of quality academies.
Today, our elite clubs operate independently. The fact that more than one hundred players from Switzerland went on to play in the best leagues during the last twenty years and our national team’s performances are here to prove that the work we have made is showing significant results. »

The importance of AEFCA

« AEFCA must be the roof for all the regional and national coaches associations. Our duty is to unify all the associations under one joint project. We know that we cannot lead our 49 member organisations and impose them a unique course of action. We are no FIFA or UEFA. On the other hand, we can help them in developing and providing them with some advices on a technical level. It is where our responsibility stands. We know that our members all work differently, with different ressources.
We need to take all of that into consideration and work accordingly. We hold a symposium every year for all the associations to discuss and understand how each other work. We are here to guide and show our full support.
We are also thinking of expanding AEFCA to a global scale. We are considering to open our doors to Asian, African and Americans organisations. It is a pertinent question that could condition our future functioning. It is our job to define our orientation to give AEFCA an international outreach that could be beneficial for European football as a whole. »