Quito provided the venue this week for two fascinating FIFA training seminars organised in conjunction with FIFA’s Development Office in Asuncion, Paraguay.
The two workshops, one targeted at goalkeeping coaches and the other at football development directors, attracted high-ranking representatives from all ten of CONMEBOL’s member associations, and were held at the national team training academy in the Ecuadorian capital, a facility built with the support of the FIFA Goal Project.
Overseeing the goalkeeper coaching course was Miguel Angel Espana, who has been Spain’s national youth team goalkeeping coach for several years now and was giving his first seminar as a FIFA instructor.
Presenting the various preparation and training techniques habitually used in each country, the seminars then sought to identify a common thread for the creation of a consolidated programme based on the instructors’ recommendations and to be applied on a continual basis in all training programmes.
The goalkeeping programme is FIFA’s latest training initiative and is aimed at coaches working for the region’s national associations. Aldo Bobadilla (Paraguay), Miguel Calero (Colombia) and Lorenzo Carrabs (Uruguay) were among the familiar faces on show, all of them experienced former custodians turned coaches looking for innovative ideas to apply in their new careers.
They shared their experiences and knowledge of the trade with a highly qualified audience that included Esteban Pogani (Argentina), Otto Cardoso (Bolivia), Rogerio Maia de Brum and Thiago Costa (Brazil), Anibal San Martin and Gonzalo Martinez (Chile), Eduardo Mino (Colombia), Pedro Antonio Zape, Francisco Reinoso, Carlos Enriquez and Fernando Moya (Ecuador), Oscar Ibanez and Carlos Silvestri (Peru), Mario Alles and Jose Luis Sosa (Uruguay), and Vicente Rosales and Cesar Baena (Venezuela).
Laying the foundations
No less impressive was the list of participants in the seminar for football development directors, which was given by Roberto Perna of Switzerland and Roberto Vargas of Paraguay, with the assistance of Francisco Maturana (Colombia) and Joao Gomide (Brazil).
Among the luminaries in attendance were Carlos Bilardo (Argentina), Douglas Cuenca (Bolivia), Julio Comesana (Colombia), Sixto Vizuete (Ecuador), Julio Carlos Gomez and Blas Cristaldo (Paraguay), Oscar Hamada (Peru), Daniel Banales (Uruguay), Lino Alonso (Venezuela) and Ecuador’s national team coach Reinaldo Rueda.
The audience listened intently as the speakers explained how to create a solid structure at grassroots level with a view to promoting and encouraging the growth of the game in each country.
“The aim is to introduce medium- and long-term policies designed to enhance the work we are carrying out for the good of football,” said Vizuete, the Ecuadorian FA’s Football Development Director. “The know-how acquired here and in the seminar organised beforehand in Ibarra (Ecuador) will help the national FA make administrative and technical improvements, the aim being to develop the game in the region.”