A week-long Fifa Youth Coaching Course ended on Friday with Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda pleading with the coaches to avoid age-cheating.
During the closingceremony at Mpira House in Chiwembe, Blantyre, where each of the 34 coacheswere equipped with 20 pairs of boots, a set of uniform and 10 soccer balls,Gunda said age-cheating has marred football development in the past.
“Be exemplary in your character because that has an impact on football development. Make sure individuals within the required age bracket are featured in your teams as that is the future of Malawi football,” he said.
“Age cheating compromises quality of football development and is mostly encouraged when you want to win games at all cost. But youth football is all about developing talent. Therefore, put the winning mentality aside and let the youths enjoy the game; a tree does not start bearing fruits before it develops the roots.”
He also urged the corporate world, parents and well-wishers to support youth football describing it as the most effective nursery of the senior national football team.
Fifa technical expert Kim Poulsen, who was drilling the youth coaches, said after the course he expects the coaches to impart their knowledge in the youths in a clear football language.
“During the few games I watched, I noted that most coaches lack this technical skill despite its importance in moulding talent. The youth coaches should also stop thinking about results but rather look for potential talent and refine it,” he said.
Some of the youth coaches Joy Khakona and Mario Gadaga said they have further improved their knowledge of nurturing talent through the course and they are ready to deliver. They also promised to take good care of the equipment they received.
This was the second time Poulsen was drilling youth coaches after an initial course in 2015, when Fifa earmarked Malawi for the pioneering grassroots project of the Under-15 Fifa/FAM League.
FAM has since maintained the project, which has now been included in its annual budget.