Student coaches team up in Nyon

Former internationals Craig Bellamy, Sol Campbell, Les Ferdinand and Patrick Vieira were among those attending the first UEFA Student Exchange Course of the year.

Patrick Vieira at the first UEFA Student Exchange Course of the year, in Nyon
Patrick Vieira at the first UEFA Student Exchange Course of the year, in Nyon ©UEFA.com

"The environment is the key. So UEFA and the course tutors deserve congratulations for creating a team spirit and a culture of learning."

That view was expressed by Osian Roberts, coach education director at the Football Association of Wales (FAW), who headed a team of Pro Licence students featuring former internationals Craig Bellamy, Sol Campbell, Les Ferdinand and Patrick Vieira, along with Garry Monk and Tim Sherwood, currently coaching in England's Premier League. They were joined in Nyon by groups from Hungary, Israel and Turkey for the first UEFA Student Exchange Course of the year.

"It was a warm environment and a busy programme," said Yücel Ayar, head of coach education at the Turkish Football Federation (TFF). "The contacts with the other associations helped us assess our strengths and weaknesses and see what we can improve." Pini Kainan, who captained the team of coaches from Israel, shared his view. "We had extraordinary instructors who taught us new things," he said. "And the dialogue with other countries made a huge contribution to our knowledge."

The team of tutors at the four-day course featured four coach education specialists from UEFA's Jira Panel along with four UEFA technical instructors. They guided the student coaches through a broad spectrum of presentations, practical work and match analysis pegged to the UEFA Champions League matches that were played while the course was going on.

"Our aim is to put our country's football on a new footing," said Hungary's coach education director László Szalai. "To do that, we need a generation of open-minded coaches who are eager to learn. This course created a football family and an excellent atmosphere for learning."

Over 1,300 coaches have participated in the 17 Pro Licence Student Exchange Courses completed since 2011. The 18th course, involving students from Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain takes place in May.

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