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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 September 2014
SPORT 28 SATURDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2014 Page 32 Aris proud despite FFA Cup loss Page 31 South vie for national championship Aussie coaching needs a shakeup Former Socceroo and Sydney Olympic great Peter Katholos talks to Neos Kosmos on the dire need for a national coaching curriculum CON STAMOCOSTAS Peter Katholos' tenure might have ended at Football NSW a year ago, but his experience with the Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) was not a hap- py one. The former Socceroos and NSL great says there are gap- ing problems with the pro- gram and wants to see more done about the state of coach- ing in the state and nationally. "I'm not involved anymore with the program because I don't agree with its structure," Katholos told Neos Kosmos. "The whole thing needs re- vamping if we are going to be a force in world football, this should be our aim." The program trains children aged Under 9 through to Un- der 12s, promoting itself as an elite program for young footballers. That's not what Katholos saw. "When you call it ‘elite’ it means the best," he says. "No disrespect to the guys but what I'm saying to you is the leading program in foot- ball NSW for all those age groups had inappropriate coaches to teach skill." Katholos reveals that al- though many of the coaches were fully qualified, there was no set curriculum. "A skills acquisition pro- gram had no curriculum and the program was endorsed by Football Federation Australia (FFA)." "Where is the 40 week pro- gram that every coach in Aus- tralia follows? Where is the manual so everyone is uni- formed to do everything the same in skill teaching?" Katholos says he tried to contact then FFA technical director Han Berger, author of the curriculum, but he got no response. Current technical director for Football NSW Alex Tobin declined to comment when Neos Kosmos contacted him, but did say it's an important issue. Katholos isn't convinced that they are committed to change. "It's all talk. It has never be- ing put properly into action," he said. He has seen many parents take their kids out of the elite system in Australia and go through private academies. One such example is recent Udinese signing Panos Arme- nakas. Armenakas bypassed the elite set up in NSW to train at the AC Milan Acad- emy. Katholos says that acad- emies are now an option for parents because they offer something different. Katholos wants to see a na- tional approach to building academies. "There should be training centres of excellence around the country funded by the federations with top coach- es coaching our best footballers. They don't ex- ist." Pay disparity also means the best coaches are leav- ing Australia. "Clubs col- lect $1,500 per kid and you pay the coach $3,000-$5,000 per year. How are you going to attract the best coaches?" There has been prom- ising steps at least to see a better national cur- riculum implemented. The FFA has just appoint- ed Belgian youth coach Eric Abrams as their new techni- cal director to oversee the elite youth player develop- ment and coach education strategies of Australian foot- ball. Abrams will be leading all of the elite pathway and youth development structures in line with the national curric- ulum that has been in place since 2009. He will also take responsibility of the coach education program. The new struc- ture follows a review of the FFA's technical structure by FFA head of national perfor- mance Luke Casserly, which highlighted youth technical development as a key area for improvement. Under the new structure, Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou will oversee all the underage and senior na- tional men's team and West- field Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic will oversee all the underage and senior women's national teams. Peter Katholos coaching in the Skills Acquisition Program. FFA Cup loss ry he n h u er ex also est av- ol- er u h 0 w g national cur- emented. The new struc- y e s h- ur rs. x- Fernando Santos, who led Greece to the last 16 of the World Cup in Brazil, has been appointed Portugal's new head coach, the FPF an- nounced this week. The Portuguese coach spent four years in charge of Greece and guided it to the quarter- finals of Euro 2012 as well as the last 16 of this year's World Cup, where it lost on penalties to Costa Rica. Santos left his post the day after Greece was eliminated from the tournament, having decided before the competi- tion not to renew his contract. The former Porto and Ben- fica manager replaces Paulo Bento, who left after Portugal made a calamitous start to its Euro 2016 campaign, losing to Albania. Star player Cristiano Ronaldo dragged them into the tournament via the play- offs, but the Iberian nation went out at the group stage. Santos could be rendered unable to lead the Portuguese team for the majority for their qualification games after he was hit with an eight-match FIFA ban after he verbally abused match officials dur- ing the Costa Rica defeat in the World Cup. He lost his appeal to the ban this week but can ap- peal again at the court of ar- bitration for sport. If the ban sticks, he will be able to pick the team and attend training sessions but not the matches. Santos' reign will begin with trips to France on October 11 and Denmark three days later. He has also spent time man- aging in Greece, including a stint with PAOK, Panathinai- kos and two spells with AEK Athens. In Greece he is playfully called ‘the engineer' thanks to his engineering degree he got before he became a coach. Source: Reuters, The Guardian, goal.com Santos appointed Portugal manager Former Greece coach Fernando Santos is now Portugal’s head coach. PHOTO: AAP/DARKO BANDIC. Former Greece coach has gone back home after being offered his dream job Peter Katholos during his Sydney Olympic days. Up against England in 1983.
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