High levels of quality at 32nd AEFCA Symposium in Antalya

21 December 2011 – For the third time since the foundation of the AEFCA and its precursor, the UEFT, Turkey was the host country of the annual symposium, which took place in the southern resort of Antalya from 19-23 November 2011 and was jointly organised by the Turkish national football association TFF and the country’s coaches’ body, TÜFAD.

“Football Development – Today & Tomorrow”
Day One of the event focused on the possible development of football in the future. In an excellent presentation, UEFA’s Technical Director Andy Roxburgh used mighty FC Barcelona as the yardstick to specify today’s requirements for top-level football (prompting the question whether the Barça system can be copied at all); he followed this up by encouraging a lively debate among those present about how fans, the media, administrators, coaches, referees and, of course, the players themselves will – to a greater or lesser degree – shape future developments in the game. Thank you, Andy, for treating us to one-of-a-kind experience.

In his capacity of Technical Director of the Danish FA (DBU), Peter Rudbæk analysed the U21 European Championship hosted by Denmark in July 2011 and won, not for the first time one is tempted to say, by the Spanish team who beat Switzerland in the final. For his part, the DFB Head of Talent Promotion and Development Jörg Daniel (also in charge of goalkeeper coach education at the German FA) presented a number of new solutions to defending dead-ball situations.

Turkish football in the focus of attention
Day Two of the congress offered the Turkish hosts a welcome opportunity to showcase their views on today’s and tomorrow’s football. General Secretary Alaadin Naganlu gave a presentation of the currently 17,000 members-strong coaches’ body, TÜFAD, while Tolunary Kafkas, recently appointed TFF Director of Football Development, detailed the need to further improve and expand his country’s network of talent promotion. One of his key messages was that given the immense demographic potential (some 19 million people in Turkey are under 19 years of age), there is every reason to be optimistic. A practical demonstration on the pitch of the Kervansaray Lara Hotel courtesy of Mehmet Özdilek, head coach of Turkish Süperlig club Antalyaspor, closed the symposium day that had especially been dedicated to “The Turkish Way.”

Powerful women
Day Three concluded the congress with another highlight, as Austrian FA (ÖFB) Technical Director Willi Ruttensteiner provided a fine analysis (including illustrating footage) of the two FIFA World Cups – at U17 and U20 level – staged in 2011. Having been present at both events (as an ÖFB delegation member in Colombia/U20 and as a member of the Technical Study Group in Mexico/U17) he demonstrated the huge potential shown by talented players from all of the participating countries.

Vera Pauw, who hails from The Netherlands, is the Russian FA’s Technical Director for women’s football, and she added an impressive survey of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, underlining the women’s game tremendous potential for development.

Pia Sundhage, the Swedish-born coach of the U.S. women’s national team, provided a first-hand account of the tournament that saw her team go through to, but eventually lose, the final against Japan. Recounting her players’ experiences from the early days of preparation training right through to the final, she also surprised attendees with her beautiful singing voice by citing examples from the Bob Dylan (“If not for you”), Tina Turner (“Simply the best”) and Simon & Garfunkel (“Slow down, you move too fast”) songbooks to explain her personal credo – create an enjoyable environment of trust and confidence, get the best possible performance out of every single player, and give yourself plenty to time for feed-back and reflection. An unusual and much-applauded presentation that will stay in participants’ hearts and minds for a long time to come.

Don’t be shy – benefit from the AEFCA’s service!
The presentations given by Peter Rudbæk, Willi Ruttensteiner, Vera Pauw, and Pia Sundhage as well as the programme are now available for download at the links “Symposia” (click “Antalya”) and/or at “Coaching/Training Aids”.

 

Photos: TÜFAD

 

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