Open Play: Fam investing Caf coaching courses in wrong people


Switching from a playing career into coaching has for some football greats such as Ryan Giggs, Claude Makelele and Rigobert Song been seamless.

However, there is emerging evidence that a playing career is no longer a diplomatic passport to a successful coaching career.

Thinking that best players can make good coaches is like saying a company’s best plumber can become a good chief executive officer.


Coaching is evolving.

With players earning obscene amounts, heavy investments in the game, agents and gobetweens becoming shrewd, the profession is no longer just about coaching, but allround football management.

Now, there is an analytical and scientific side to football that has most managers hiring performance and match analysts.


From just being able to establish statistics such as ball-possession and passes, managers now go a step further to even study players’ lung capacity Softwares have been developed to measure just about everything managers need to know about players, tactics and opponents.

For example, at his finest hour in management, recently-fired Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez would instruct his players to delay execution of throw-ins by six seconds and kill six minutes of opponents’ time in every game.

All this brings me to what should be encouraging good news that Malawi has 27 Confederation of African Football (Caf) A-licensed football coaches, 66 for Caf B, 22 and 60 hold Uefa and Caf C respectively.

Now, these are no ordinary badges. But why are domestic coaching standards still pathetic and domestic coaches hopeless?

Why do local coaches struggle to make ends meet instead of seeking employment across the borders?

It is clear that Football Association of Malawi is wasting resources by enrolling every Jim and Jack into these expensive coaching courses.

From the 27, very few are ambitious enough to convince any team across the borders.

A Malawian coach expects free coaching courses, and when they graduate, jobs to come knocking on their doors. Most coaches do not even have a written resume, let alone a mere business card that would cost K100 to produce.

Our coaches have intellectual challenges. They need to be baby-sat and spoon-fed all the time, and the way they conduct themselves is uninspiring.

Fam must focus on opening up such high-level coaching courses to other professionals such as secondary school teachers.

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