Successful XXIX AEFCA Symposium in Frankfurt

30 October 2008 – Fondly called The Metropolis on the River Main, Frankfurt has hosted its fair share of high-calibre international gatherings (including the UEFT symposium in the year 2000), but the XXIX AEFCA Symposium, staged from 25-29 October 2008 under the motto “New Trends of EURO 2008 – relevant to Grassroots Football?”, was overwhelmingly voted “an event of the first order” by the 202 participants from a total of 61 countries affiliated to the six FIFA Confederations who met in the Steigenberger Airport Hotel and, on Monday, at the Stadion am Brentanobad for the outdoor sessions.

Assisted by the German co-hosts DFB (Deutscher Fußball-Bund; German Football Association) and BDFL (Bund Deutscher Fussball-Lehrer; Association of German Football Coaches), the European coaches’ umbrella organisation offered participants three days of outstanding presentations and first-class practical demonstrations on thProgrammeinführung durch AEFCA-Präsident Dr. Jozef Vengloš und Generalsekretär Karlheinz Raviol e pitch.
In accordance with the official symposium motto, a great number of top-level coaches presented their analyses of the UEFA European Championship EURO 2008, detailing what lessons can be learnt by and for the various levels of football. On behalf of the DFB, coaching staff members Bernd Stöber, Erich Rutemöller and Frank Wormuth introduced the trends of EURO 2008; UEFA Technical Director Andy RoxburghPanel discussion with Fatih Terim, Jean-Michel Bénézet, Dr. Jozef Vengloš,  Andy Roxburgh and presenter Rudi Brückner (left to right) provided an overview that was as comprehensive as it was entertaining, and Turkish national team coach Fatih Terim gave a personal account of how he came through a tournament that turned out to be an emotional roller-coaster for players and coaching staff alike.

In a lively presentation, Spain’s U17 coach Ginés Meléndez Sotos set out to explain why so many Spanish youth national teams have won plenty of silverware at European and world level over the last decade. For his part, FIFA Technical Director Jean-Michel Bénézet gave a very interesting account of the world football governing body’s numerous development programmes.

Foreign participants listened attentively to DFB Director of Sports Matthias Sammer’s lecture on the German FA’s training, development and elite promotion philosophy, while Frank Wormuth and Bernd Stöber explained the DFB’s new coach education concept. Looking back on his career so far, Ralf Rangnick, head coach of current Bundesliga revelation and table-toppers TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, convincingly described how vital an experience coaching at various children, youth and senior team levels is for any coach keen to make it as a professional coach. In his second presentation at the symposium, Andy Roxburgh specifically addressed the impoDFB Director of Sports Matthias Sammer in his elementrtance of top coaches as leaders and role models, underlining the key role they play in and for the game.

Currently Germany's most successful coach -  Ralf RangnickWomen’s football is on the rise – that was the key message imparted by Steffi Jones, President of the German LOC for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011, who informed attendees about the state of preparations for the tournament, extending a cordial invitation to all participants to return to Germany in less than three years’ time.

DFB coach Jörg Daniel’s lecture on Goalkeeping Trends at EURO 2008 and resulting effects on goalkeeper training was followed in the afternoon by two practical demonstration units at the Frankfurt Stadion am Brentanobad. First, Under-18 national team coach Heiko Herrlich gave an object lesson on “Defensive Play – Team-Tactical Realisation”; he was succeeded by Under-19 national team coach Frank Engel and his take on “Offensive Play – Creating Chances”. Both coaches’ instructions were quickly absorbed and impressively implemented by a selection of Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt’s Under-16/17 players.

The 29th AEFCA symposium ended on a festive note as all participants were treated to a reception and dinner at the invitation of the Premier of the German federal state of Hesse. The world-famous Eberbach monastery provided the impressive backdrop for an evening of entertainment and enlightening debate amongst experts. The next day, more than 200 coaches embarked on their trips back home – full of new impressions, keen to put their newly-acquired know-how into practise, and ready to share it with their colleagues.

Highly-interested participants watching the practical sessionsFor the presentations given by Jean-Michel Bénézet (FIFA) and Ginés Meléndez Sotos (Spain) – both in English – please click on the “Coaching/Training Aids” button. Subject to the DFB’s final approval, we also plan to offer the DFB coaches’ presentations on this website.

If you are interested in the full programme of activities offered at the symposium, click on the “Symposia” button.

*Photos: Bongarts/GettyImages

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