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World Cup Boost for NZ Grassroots Football Coaching

World Cup Boost for NZ Grassroots Football Coaching
November 27, 2009

Junior football teams around New Zealand are to be backed by 3,500 newly trained coaches for the 2010 winter season.

New Zealand Football (NZF) aim to achieve the ambitious target of new 'Small Whites' coaches through free delivery of coach education to parents, and others involved at the sportâs grassroots.

With interest in football reaching new levels following the All Whitesâ qualification to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, New Zealand Football see the offer of free coaching courses, which cost between $35-$50 last season, as a key step in creating a new wave of 'football families' with a lifelong relationship with the game.

NZF Director of Football Development John Herdman explains "junior football is often the first taste of the whole football experience for mum, dad and child ... and the coach is at the heart of that experience.

"You can have bad weather, you can have bumpy pitches but good coaches can stimulate, captivate and create a wonderful environment for mum, dad and the child.

"We want to create outstanding coaches at the junior level to raise the quality of the junior experience to a point where we capture not only the child but also football families through to the age of 11, 12 and 13. When kids hit that age where they have typically dropped out of the sport, their love for the game that started with a quality coaching experience will see them carry on."

Herdman also expects many of the new breed of coaches to follow their children up through the grades, adding "the aim is to create a high quality experience for Mum and Dad without all the rigours of a formal classroom setting. They'll come out of it equipped and confident to deliver fun, stimulating sessions for their players and in turn will enjoy the coaching experience more.

"For many of them it will be a survival guide for the season but for others it could be the first step of a new coaching journey, moving through the grades with their children into youth and senior football."

The courses, delivered by NZF trained coach educators, form part of an overall coach development framework built on short, flexible, and player-focussed coaching for all levels of the sport.

Herdman concluded "we're aiming to build highly effective coaches right across junior, youth and senior levels because the communities are all intertwined, albeit with different demands.

"We're into our third season now and every year weâre adding more opportunities for coaches to tap into bite-sized modules that help them deliver content appropriate for the age and needs of the actual players standing in front of them at every training session."

The courses will begin in February.

Further details are available from New Zealand Football via email or at


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