Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A THORNY ISSUE: Falopa’s mission


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I love the idea of having a technical director for football in Barbados but I’m not fascinated with his short-term posting.

The truth is that Brazilian Marcos Falopa can be good for the sport but how much can he achieve in six months?

I think we might be on the same wavelength as he was quick to point out that his main focus will be on coaching the coaches while here. That, too, I believe is the correct approach because there’s only so much you can do in such a small window.

I would have doubted his true intentions if he had told the media at his public introduction last week that he was going to turn us into world beaters in six months but he was very honest and from that viewpoint I will embrace him as well as the effort of the Barbados Football Association(BFA) to “try a thing” in moving the game forward.

Ideally, we should have the services of someone with the credentials of Falopa for no less than four years as he would be in place to set the technical road map for the qualifying period of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and other hemispheric challenges in various age groups.

Instead his work will only be on a piecemeal basis depending on “how we feel about each other”, as BFA president Randy Harris put it, after the first six months.That alone lays uncertainty in the path of anybody starting a job but who might be forced to leave it undone on account of prevailing circumstances not of his making.

The impression given by Harris is that the shortage of money might be the reason we can only afford the Brazilian for a short time and cash flow issues and not necessarily a review of his performance, might be the greatest hindrance in keeping him longer.

This doesn’t mean that the extended period I speak about can’t and won’t happen but there’s no guarantee that it will either.

That puts into context the wisdom of Falopa not laying out a wide ranging programme, knowing full well that he would struggle to implement it, given the specifics of his contract.

He begins with a plus because he conducted a training course for coaches at the Barbados Community College in 1983 so he has some idea about our football landscape and culture.

Sadly, little – if anything – has changed since that visit but at least he will take up the challenge of trying to give the right perspective to some of our coaches.

Coaching is the most critical area especially when coaches  have to deal with children in particular in the embryonic stage of their careers but ironically it is the one essential cog to development that we take for granted.

Not all who help with their school, community groups or clubs are true coaches even though they go by that name, so it is very important to improve their knowledge, techniques and teaching skills and having them certified because their contribution should be respected and appreciated. It is just a matter of getting them to the next level which will also hopefully raise the standard of their charges.

Seriously.Very often we have heard of senior players going to national training and the coach has to hold special sessions to teach grown men and women something as basic as ball control. Im sure he would rather spend his time focusing on fundamental drills and tactics. So, we need to get it correct from base.

Honestly, even these proposed sessions and seminars, which will be targeted to include personnel right across the board especially in schools and communities, will be hard to compress in six months.

However, it is a start but the hope will be to have the well travelled Brazilian for a much longer period to get more things done.

• Andi Thornhill is an experienced, award-winning sports journalist.


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