Participants, instructors and National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) officials posing for a group photo after the opening ceremony of yesterday's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 'C' license coaching certificate course organised by NFABD at the NFABD House in Berakas. Picture: BT/Syarif Rasani
Twenty-one aspiring coaches are sitting for an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 'C' license coaching certificate course organised by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD).
The majority of the class at the NFABD House in Berakas is made up of 16 coach hopefuls from Brunei-Muara, two from Belait, and two from Temburong.
The last entry, Norman Muchni, travelled all the way from Indonesia to take part in the 13-day introduction course which is the prerequisite towards realising a professional career as a coach.
"I know the AFC 'C' license is already very well known in Asia so this is the first step I need to take to become a coach," said Muchni in an interview with The Brunei Times after yesterday's opening ceremony.
"I hope by taking this I can eventually move on to take the 'B' license, 'A' license and then progress to become a professional coach.
"I have actually been in contact with NFABD for a year now, and fortunately for me they were doing the course now, so I applied for it," added Muchni.
The 'C' certificate course is aimed at developing coaches' basic techniques and skill in football.
They will also learn to organise, direct and conduct basic coaching practices, and after receiving the minimum 85 hours of lessons (practical and theory), participants will be assessed on their practical coaching abilities and knowledge of the laws of the game.
The 'C' license holders are eligible to apply for the 'B' license after two years' of coaching experience, followed by an additional year to take the 'A' license.
They will then have to conduct another two years of coaching, as well as meet certain criteria, before they are eligible for the AFC Professional Coaching Diploma.
AFC's website states that the AFC Professional Coaching Diploma course is for coaches who hold the 'A' Coaching Certificate as a minimum requirement.
"It is designed to teach the highest standards for club and national team levels," states the website.
"The course aims at producing coaches at the highest level and identifying future instructors.
"It is a complex course that consists of 4 modules, with a total duration of at least 380 hours," it added.
The current 'C' license coaching certificate course is being led by NFABD technical director Mike Wong Mun Heng and head coach of the NFABD's Under-16 team Stephen Ng Heng Seng.
"To my understanding Brunei held this same course six years ago, and so far we have about 10 qualified coaches - but most of them are now inactive," said Wong, who wants to see 63 'C' licensed coaches within the year.
"We are now trying to expand the number of coaches here, and when I say expand the number of coaches, I mean we want good qualified coaches.
"With good coaches, of course the return will be good players.
"We (also) want to get qualified coaches in the country so that the league will be better, which will lead to better national squads," said the former head coach of Singapore League side Geylang United from 2009-2012.
NFABD hired the Singaporean duo last September.
In addition to the coaching courses, AFC also offers a Conditioning Coaching Certificate course, a Futsal Coaching Certificate course and a Goalkeeping Coaching Certificate course.
Those who pass the relevant courses can also study with AFC to become an AFC Coaching Instructor, AFC Conditioning Instructor, AFC Futsal Instructor and AFC Goalkeeping Instructor.
NFABD general secretary, Mohd Noor Hj Abdullah officiated yesterday's opening ceremony before the students had their first theory lesson.