Eighteen Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ‘B’ level coaching licence holders from domestic clubs, Bhutan Football Federation’s (BFF) and a coach from All India Football Federation (AIFF) is taking part in the 27-days AFC ‘A’ licence coaching course that began on December 18 in Thimphu.

All the participants have a minimum of one-year coaching experience and have fulfilled the two-year cooling period after AFC ‘B’ licence course.

The federation is conducting the course after 10 years. Bhutan currently has only two coaches with AFC ‘A’ licence. There are more than 35 coaches with AFC ‘B’ licence.

Competition officer of BFF, Kinley Dorji, said that was mandatory for a club to have coach with ‘A’ level coaching licence to take part in AFC Cup. “It is important for us to have a qualified coach and we are trying to achieve this by giving chance to ‘B’ licence holder the opportunity to upgrade their qualification.”

This, he added, would help develop national team and the academy players. “Coaches would also have an opportunity to work abroad.  Hiring foreign coaches to train national squad is expensive.”

Nader Arabi, an Iranian AFC Instructor, is conducting the course. “The course would improve the game experience and knowledge of the coaches. This would enhance the quality of players.”

The participants undergo daily theory and practical sessions on tactical and advanced technical requirements of teams, among others. The course includes understanding the physiological and psychological needs of players to improve the coaches’ understanding of the game.

Assistant manager of AIFF’s grassroots department, Anjana Turambekar, said that the course helped her gain knowledge and understand development of players. “A coach has a high responsibility. To be a better coach, one should be a better person.”

BFF’s coach, Pema, who completed his ‘B’ licence course 11 years ago, said the course, which gives eleven-sided game knowledge and techniques, was important.

Nadar Arabi said that after completion of course, the participants should be actively involved in the field to bring improvement and development of the sport. “There should be a programme to make use of the available coaches to improve the players and the level of football. They should be given refresher courses to update knowledge and professional game exposure.”

The participants will have to clear the test that would be conducted by the instructor at the end of the course.