Friday, May 1, 2009

National Football Curriculum

The footballing revolution continues. The long, brave march towards footballing utopia has been given another prod in the back today, with the FFA's release of a National Football Curriculum which aims to improve player development and team performance.

I can haz Han Berger?

The main thrust of the football curriculum is that it heavily emphasises development of skill and technique. Skill development takes place within the context of game-related situations, rather than through drills that exist in isolation.

An extension of this is that the FFA has identified 4-3-3 as the ideal playing formation for 'proactive' football with a technical emphasis. As such, all of the FFA's 'development' sides - for example, the national representative teams underneath the Socceroos and Matildas - should be playing this structure. Increasing players' skills will, theoretically, be favoured over results.

Those that worry about the credentials of our domestic coaching stocks should be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as well - in future there will be specific minimum requirements for high-level coaching positions within the FFA structure, including national team, A-League, W-League, National Youth League, AIS and State Institute coaches and technical directors.

All of this is, to me, a good sign that Australian football is still going in the right direction. We have a governing body with a clearly-structured plan for ongoing development of the game. We're not going to see the results straight away, but things like this have to happen for football to benefit in the long run. Maybe one day, when I'm old and grey, we'll see the seeds planted in this decade finally come to fruition.

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