Coach Education taking next steps with Pathway
Intent on creating a positive learning experience, the FAI Coach Education Department has been working hard within the High Performance Unit to introduce an updated structure that caters for the needs of the everyday coach.
FAI Head of Coach Education Niall O’Regan said: “When we were shaping the 2021-2025 Pathway, we relied heavily on the feedback of the hundreds of coaches whom we spoke with about what worked, what didn’t and what they wanted to see introduced.
“Along with guidance from UEFA and research into what other European nations are doing, we decided to place an even greater emphasis on making entry level courses cost-efficient and time-realistic in order to aid the development of Grassroots coaches. We are excited about these changes and believe that they will have a positive impact on Irish football.”
An example of the cost-effective measures being introduced is that through the previous Coach Education Pathway the route to completing the old Youth Certificate cost a coach between €450-€500 compared to €370 to reach the National D Licence level in the 2021-2025 Pathway.
- Entry Point 1 – No Fee
- PDP1 – €45
- PDP2 – €45
- Mandatory Workshops – 4 x €25
- Optional Workshops – x 2 (four free options available)
- Football Fitness D Licence – €45
- Performance Analysis D Licence – €45
- National D Licence – €90
- Total: €370
The changes are not solely focused on costs, however, with time management taken into account e.g. PDP2 has gone from a two-day course to a one-day event, dropping from €75 to €45. In addition, the contact time for coaches has increased which ensures they will have more contact with Coach Educators - with a reduction in cost rather than an increase in fee - which guarantees coaches as much support in person as possible in their fundamental development stages.
In the professional courses, the additional CPD events and modules are working out cheaper than the previous hours model. There will also be an introduction of reality-based learning whereby coaches are assessed by Coach Educators in their own environment from UEFA B Licence level upwards.
The course fee stays the same with the UEFA B Licence being delivered over five contacts over a 9-12 month period costing €1,950 while the UEFA A Licence will be delivered over a 12-month period with six contact blocks, costing €3,250. These are elite level courses aimed at coaches wanting to work in the professional game.
Following on from the success of the Female-Only UEFA B Licence and the National C Licence courses provided for free to SSE Airtricity Under-17 & U-19 League and Women’s Under-17 National League players, the introduction of further free education is an important part of the 2021-2025 Pathway.
These courses and workshops will be available for free as part of the new Pathway:
- Entry Points Online Workshops
- PDP Workshop
- Performance Analysis Intro
- One Good Coach – Mental Health
- Grassroots Diet & Nutrition
The FAI Coach Education Department are also working on plans to offer free presentations and workshops to all coaches who register for the new e-Learning Coaches Club, which will have latest news, session plans, top tips, interactive videos and exclusive interviews.
FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter said: "The changes being implemented as part of the roll-out of the 2021-2025 FAI Coach Education Pathway mean that courses will be even more accessible & affordable to coaches as they map out their own coaching journey.
"It is important that we work with the coaches to support them throughout their journey and that is something that will shape the new Pathway. Whether they are a Grassroots coach, Elite Youth coach or Professional coach, it is now clear how they can go about developing further with the support of our Coach Education Department.
"It is fantastic that we will soon have an e-Learning platform, more courses available online, and a practical approach to delivering courses with the coach very much in mind. These changes will ultimately help develop better all-round and specialist coaches who, in turn, will help to develop better players for Irish football."