Women’s football has been the name of the game at FIFA HQ in Zurich this week, a number of women’s national team coaches past and present making their way to the Swiss city for a three-day coaching seminar given by 29 female and three male FIFA instructors.

As part of the seminar a series of presentations were given by FIFA and the member associations and took as their subject the current state of the women’s game. Working groups were also set up to demonstrate the various phases involved in FIFA’s women’s football course, ranging from basic to advanced, and the training of coaches and technical development were also analysed in close detail.

The theoretical and practical aspects of goalkeeping were discussed, along with communication, training methods and the search for concepts to be applied in addressing a range of different problems.

*Spreading the word *“This seminar gives women the chance to learn from the best instructors in the world and apply what they have to say,” commented former USA national team boss April Heinrichs. “They can then take the information away with them and help other women in their respective communities.”

Heinrichs took part in a debate with Hope Powell (ENG), Tina Theune (GER), Carolina Morace (ITA), Vera Pauw (NED), Leonardo Cuellar (MEX), Azzedine Chih (ALG), Jacqueline Shipanga (NAM), Chan Shuk Chi (HKG) and Marta Tejedor (ESP). The topic for discussion was the demands and challenges of coaching a national team, with the participants analysing the ways in which they could draw on their experiences at the helm of national sides in creating training programmes for coaches.

Expressing her views to FIFA.com, Namibia’s Jacqueline Shipanga spoke of the importance of the seminar and the special significance it holds for her on a personal level: “The challenges we have to face in our country are so overwhelming sometimes that there’s no way of tackling them. You end up asking yourself who is responsible for the coaches and instructors. That’s why this seminar is so valuable.

“We’re getting the opportunity here to work with role models who have an in-depth understanding of the women’s game. It’s really motivating for us to see leading coaches like Tina and April. They’re very warm people and they’re offering their help to us. I really feel everyone’s looking after me. It’s fantastic.”

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