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Shaun Goater relishes Fifa technical role at Under-20 World Cup

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Shaun Goater is serving as a Fifa technical consultant at the Under-20 World Cup in Argentina (Photograph supplied)
Shaun Goater at Santiago del Estero Stadium in Argentina (Photograph supplied)
Shaun Goater at the Concacaf 2022 World Cup preliminary qualifying round draw (Photograph supplied)

Shaun Goater is relishing his time at the Under-20 World Cup in Argentina as he works for Fifa in a technical role.

The former Manchester City and Bermuda striker is among a small group tasked with gathering vital data to assess where the game is heading from a technical perspective.

“I am here working for Fifa for the technical support group, which is looking at the technical side of the game and the future as to where the game is evolving and where it is going from a technical point of view,” Goater told The Royal Gazette.

“What’s great is it allows me to see all the different styles and approaches that the different countries are having and their style of play so it’s really good and insightful.

“I have enjoyed it and it’s been good. The only bad thing is I am not able to see every game because you can’t be everywhere, but I am catching a good majority of the games.

“I am here until the end of tournament, which is June 11, so there is a lot of football to peruse my eyes over and assist Fifa. They talked to me about other tournaments but we agreed to get this tournament under our belts and then look at discussing things beyond that.”

This is not the first time the former star player has worked with Fifa after being involved in the Concacaf preliminary qualifying round draw for the 2022 World Cup, but the role detecting technical trends in Argentina is far more crucial.

“It’s over half a dozen of us looking at the games that we analyse with our own knowledge and expertise and look for trends within the teams that play,” he said.

“We have iPads that are set up so that any action that happens in the game we can immediately go back to watch it, and then we’re back live again even though we’re at the stadium watching the game.

“We’re watching from a bird’s-eye view so we can see formations and changes of formations. It allows us to have lots of clips of stuff that I find very interesting to a point that I feel that this is a pattern and then we have a review and discussion.

“After the group games we have a discussion and we talk about all the teams because you can find three of four teams doing something similar and notice a trend. You can also get a situation in which many countries are doing what one particular country has done.

“We discuss what we’ve seen and then piece it all together to come to the conclusion of where we see the game going and what teams are doing.”

Goater is also relishing the opportunity to analyse some of the world’s elite players and countries at this level.

“It’s an exceptional position to be in because I am looking at all the top teams playing in this tournament,” he said.

“Argentina have Javier Mascherano, the absolute legend that played for Barcelona and Argentina, as the manager, so to be able to watch his team play, to see his style of management to see if there are things we’ve seen previously with his team Barcelona or if has he been able to take it to another level with his style of coaching.

“To see what he and other managers were known for as players and seeing them with their countries is a great thing about this role.

“I get to see also the sort of temperament of countries, to see how aggressive or withdrawn they are in their style of play.

“This is really an interesting position to be in and we are now starting to reach that stage where the first group round has come to an end. We are now starting to get to a little bit more quality in this phase that we’re in now and I am very much looking forward to it.

“From being around Manchester City and seeing the elite level there, it gives me a gauge.

“I already know what level City’s under-20s are, so I have a gauge at knowing where the international level is when compared with City, which has been good for me.”

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Published June 01, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated June 01, 2023 at 7:48 am)

Shaun Goater relishes Fifa technical role at Under-20 World Cup

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