A Challenge to Liberian Football Coaches

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A Ghanaian CAF coaching examiner recently told participants of the License B course held in Monrovia, “They have proven to be good coaches.”

He also said for the participants to endure the course to the end indicated that they were committed and their determination overwhelmed his love for the development of soccer coaches in Africa in general and in Liberia in particular.

“They proved remarkably committed to the art of coaching,” Coach Edusei said, and noted that he was hopeful of the remarkable growth of coaches in Liberia, as well the development of quality, that is talented footballers, not only for Liberia, but for the world.

It has been several months now since Coach Edusei ended his training and it is also a while since Liberian coaches returned to handle their teams in the current league.

In addition to the coaching education, Liberian coaches are addicted to Euro Football, and it is interesting to see them discussing how a player caused a team to either win or lose after a television league match.

To the average Liberian soccer coach, his world will not be complete without Euro Soccer. The same applies to players of the various leagues.

While one would think that lessons from watching the game on television could be transformed to improve on the local game, the evidence indicates that both groups are not being able to translate what they see on the screen to improve on their own matches.

Consider the recent league match between Nimba United and BYC ll at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.

It was interesting to see BYC ll players building their attacks from the midfield, with their man-to-man passes which sadly ended outside their opponents’ defense; when they were supposed to use their education on Euro Soccer to get the goals; they would kick the ball to thy kingdom come. The clubs lacked dependable strikers who can a make a difference and the coaches are unable to develop them. Why?

However, what the coaches have copied remarkably well from Europe TV is how to scream from the sidelines, when their teams are playing and messing up.

For example Oilers coaches Jimmy L. and L. Togba almost cried themselves hoarse as they practically pulled their hairs off to tell their players where to position themselves in their 2-1 victory over NPA-Anchors recently.

Now the LFA has begun an ambitious program and has selected 20 coaches to participate in developing the national U-15, U-17, U-23 and the senior national team.

Any objective follower of the local game would admit that despite what Coach Edusei told the coaches, they are yet to make the necessary impact on the league.

This is because players have too many difficulties whenever they are in front of their opponents’ goal area.

I am afraid that unless Liberian coaches are prepared to theoretically and practically make a commitment to develop football, director Henry Browne and his two deputies, Kaetu Smith and Francis Tamba may be in for a rough awakening.

And like soccer fans, the coaches will join the fans to cry out that it is the LFA that is killing Liberian football.

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