New Technical Directors gain support and guidance at FIFA Technical Leadership Introductory Course in Thailand

FIFA, 29 Aug 2023


Nineteen new Technical Directors met in Thailand between 21-25 August for the latest FIFA Technical Leadership Introductory Course. Leaders from a diverse list of countries including Belgium, Korea Republic, India, Sierra Leone and Grenada were amongst those represented at the week-long event that aims to provide support for recently appointed Technical Directors.

The course

"The FIFA Technical Leadership Introductory Course provides support for all new Technical Directors  within the first six months of them taking the role," explains Jamie Houchen, FIFA Head of Technical Leadership. 

"We know the first six months of the role is a crucial period where new Technical Directors need support and guidance with key issues such as role clarity and stakeholder relationships. We hope the help and support gained from the course, as well as their peers, will provide a solid foundation for Technical Directors to go on and have a long and successful period in the role." 

How new Technical Directors forge effective working relationships with their Member Association General Secretary is a key internal process and one addressed during the second-half of the week. 

"It was great to welcome sixteen General Secretaries to join their Technical Directors for the second half of the week," added Houchen. "We know how important the communication and relationship between the Technical Director and the General Secretary is to developing any football or technical programme. So, we create an environment where this relationship can be developed and both parties gain a greater insight and understanding into each other's roles and responsibilities."

FIFA's 'Toolbox' of support for Technical Directors

How new Technical Directors can utilise FIFA's range of support services and core programmes in order to develop the game in their country was another key message communicated by FIFA staff. 

"Some Member Associations have challenges in terms of staffing, budgets and specific expertise so we spend a significant amount of time introducing Technical Directors to FIFA's 'toolbox' of resources," explains Houchen. 

How FIFA's Technical Director's Handbook, Training Centre platform, Talent Development Scheme and Coaching Development can support Technical Directors to achieve their long-term objective were all discussed, together with the importance of linking FIFA Forward 3.0 funding to maximise football development opportunities.

Hear from the participants

Gifton Noel-Williams, Technical Director of Grenada FA

Gifton Noel-Williams, Technical Director of Grenada FA was enthused by the support and insight offered on the course. 

"I totally loved the technical director course, all of the tutors gave us knowledge and a great insight into being a new technical director.

"I believe the purpose of a tutor and a course is to provoke the thoughts of the students and I must say congratulations to the staff because my thoughts have truly been provoked to do better and my eyes have been opened up to a much bigger picture. I've made some friends that I'll have for life, what a great group and what a great staff group." 

Jelle Schelstraete (left), Technical Director of Belgium FA

Jelle Schelstraete, Technical Director of Belgium FA explained that the workshop was an opportunity for reflection. "Participation in the five-day workshop gave me the possibility to zoom out and reflect on how our  department can become more efficient. As a leader in a high-performance environment, you don't take enough time to focus on personal development.

"This course challenges you to see where you can improve both professionally and on a personal level including wellbeing and mental health. The exchange with colleagues and GS's from different confederations with other backgrounds, cultures and challenges creates an inspirational environment and real opportunity to think out of your current box."

Patit Suphaphongs (right), General Secretary of Thailand FA

Patit Suphaphongs, General Secretary of Thailand FA praised the unique opportunity to discuss common challenges and opportunities faced by Technical Directors and General Secretaries across the world. 

"I am immensely grateful to FIFA for orchestrating the exceptional Technical Leadership Introductory workshop, which provided an invaluable platform for technical directors and general secretaries to delve into the intricate facets of their roles and collaborative dynamics.

"The workshop's comprehensive insights, expertly guided discussions, and emphasis on effective teamwork have not only enriched our understanding but have also paved the way for enhanced collaboration and impactful leadership within the realm of football. This experience stands as a testament to FIFA's dedication to fostering knowledge, growth, and excellence in the global football community, and I extend my heartfelt appreciation for this remarkable initiative."

José Ernesto Mejía Portillo, General Secretary of Honduras FA

José Ernesto Mejía Portillo, General Secretary of Honduras FA shared his thoughts on the event. "I gained significant value from the seminar as it not only enabled me to recognize areas for improvement in my own work but also illuminated strategies to assist colleagues in enhancing their performance. Moreover, the seminar underscored the significance of maintaining a harmonious equilibrium between professional commitments and personal life. The seminar proved invaluable to me for several reasons:

  1. Enhancing my relationship with the Technical Director.
  2. Attaining a deeper comprehension of his responsibilities.
  3. Most importantly, fostering new and enhanced avenues for collaboration, thereby amplifying overall effectiveness."

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