Simons and Co licensed to thrill
Maceo Dill, the vice-president of the Bermuda Football Coaches Association, says he is encouraged by the strides that he and his colleagues are making in their efforts to raise local standards on coaching.
To date, the association has helped nearly 400 locals obtain Uefa C Licence accreditation and another 35 have gained their B Licence, working in collaboration with the affiliated Bermuda Football Association.
“We are continuously working in partnership with the BFA,” Dill said. “The BFA have a coaching-licensing programme, which we are assisting them to qualify coaches under.
“Over the years we have developed over 350 C Licence coaches in Bermuda and 35 B Licence coaches. So we have a big number, which bodes well as we try to professionalise our coaching industry.”
The C Licence qualifies coaches to oversee the under-17 age group while the B Licence is a requirement for all coaches at senior level. The BFCA held an award ceremony at the National Sports Centre on Monday for the 32 candidates who passed the previous C Licence Course, which comprised various practical and theory exercises.
The course took place over one week in February and again this month.
“We had 32 participants and everyone passed their C Licence, but 15 of them scored 80 per cent or above to qualify for the Uefa B Licence Course delivered by the Scottish FA,” Dill added.
The course was directed by Jacques Crevosier, the Uefa instructor and former Liverpool and France assistant coach, who was helped by a group of local coaching educators that included Dill as course manager.
“We have developed our local coaching educators in the likes of Andrew Bascome, Derek Stapley, Maurice Lowe, Larry Smith and myself, who delivered the assessment and the instructional stuff,” Dill added. “But the C Licence Course is overseen by Jacques Crevosier, whom we have been bringing down for the last 14 years.”
Among the latest to earn C Licence certification were Rai Simons, the former Chesterfield forward, Vashun Blanchette, the Somerset Cricket Club president and a former player himself, and Mishael Paynter, the vice-president of St George's Cricket Club.
“As you can see, we are starting to attract some younger candidates,” Dill said. “The likes of Rai Simons, an ex-professional player that's now getting involved in the coaching educational part of it, which is great for our country to attract younger candidates.”
In addition to staging the final part of the C Licence Course last week, the BFCA also partnered with the BFA to offer further professional coaching development to certified B Licence coaches.
“We also want to keep enhancing the ability of our existing B Licence coaches, so we offered them the opportunity for additional development,” Dill said.
“Part of the B Licence is that every two years you have to take additional development to keep current. So what we offered them was the ability to analyse the Panama game [Concacaf Nations League match] and prepare sessions to give them further credit in maintaining their licence.
“It's just like first aid: you have to keep refreshing yourself.
“We recognised that coaches have to keep current and refresh themselves, so we are offering that service as well.”