Technical Division

Success of Asian teams emphasised at landmark conference

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: The pathway to success for Asian teams on the world’s biggest stages was further strengthened today at the conclusion of the first-ever Asian Football Confederation (AFC) National Coaches’ Conference for Olympic Coaches 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The three-day conference themed “Towards Tokyo 2020” brought together Olympic coaches and technical directors from across the Continent to examine the challenges in international tournament preparations and to map the success of Asian teams when the Olympic Games return to Asia in two years’ time.

The final day of the conference ended on a high when participants were given the opportunity to glean insights from Islamic Republic of Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz, who drew on his wealth of experience from stints with Portugal, Manchester United and Real Madrid as well IR Iran’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.

Stressing the importance of early planning and preparation, Queiroz said: “Nothing is more important than preparation. Asian football continues to face new challenges which demand new solutions that are specific to football in this Continent.

“The players are at the centre of everything that we do and through this conference, our hope is to give coaches in Asia a greater voice to establish a unified approach to quality player development,” added Queiroz, who will guide IR Iran to the FIFA World Cup for the second time in 2018 – his third consecutive appearance at the world’s biggest stage following his 2010 spell with Portugal.

During the last three days, this first-of-its-kind conference also featured presentations and sharing sessions from some of the most respected names in football, which included former Korea Republic captain Park Ji-sung, FIFA Head of Coaching and Player Development Branimir Ujevic and FIFA and AFC Fitness guru and former assistant to Marcello Lippi at Juventus, Jens Bangsbo.

Kim Pangon, Vice President and Technical Director at the Korean Football Association, said: “This conference has been an eye-opener for many of us. It is a timely opportunity to examine the trends from the recently concluded AFC U23 Championship in China PR, especially as we set our sights on preparing our team for Olympic qualification during the next edition.

“From the technical analysis sessions to the group discussions, I would like to thank the AFC for taking a proactive approach to ensuring that we are well equipped to deal with the challenges and better prepare our teams for major international tournaments.”

The conference concluded with a highly interactive discussion, led by AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh, on the key ingredients to achieve success on the international arena and at the ultimate stage - the FIFA World Cup.

“The AFC’s Vision and Mission has underlined clear ambitions to see its teams and players succeed at the biggest stages and our coaches represent a key area of focus and investment to achieve these goals,” said Andy Roxburgh.

“Along with enabling Member Associations to improve their competencies, the conference was a good opportunity and particularly insightful in gathering feedback and finding solutions to better prepare our players and teams for future success.”