Thinley Namgay 

Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) and the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday in Thimphu as part of the ongoing five-day course on coaching and life skills.

It is being conducted through WorldCoaches Programme at Royal Thimphu College.

BFF and KNVB will co-create projects for coach education in Bhutan to train community coaches and align them with the licensing structures of AFC, and skill upgradation programmes for coaches in Bhutan of different categories.

KNVB will also help BFF with a youth team development plan, referee education, sustainable infrastructure projects, women’s football development, infrastructure guidelines, and planning support, among others.

The five-day course on coaching and life skills began on April 10.

Johan Neeskens and Bert Zuurma from KNVB are facilitating the course. Twenty-eight coaches are participating in this maiden programme.

Johan Neeskens said that Bhutan has good facilities compared to the 40 countries he travelled to so far and has the potential to develop football. “Trainees are curious to learn and that is encouraging.”

He said every coach must play a constructive role in producing good players and also promote sports as means of social development.

Johan Neeskens said, “A coach should be creative and know what kind of training is required for different age groups. The coach should not only focus on football. He or she should also impart various life skills to children in the society.”

He also said that the coach should understand the problems of each player and always maintain consistency to bring children to the right path. “Make sure that the player is training well, learning and enjoying football.”

He said that KNVB officials will also visit Bhutan in the future and see the improvement of coaches and players.

Participants said that the course is unique and they will implement it in their respective clubs.

The founder of the WorldCoaches Programme, Johannes Antonius, said that social responsibility is a part of football and it should be made as a policy for the development of football.

“WorldCoaches Programme focuses on various aspects of social development such as health, gender equality and social cohesion,” he said, adding that coaches should constantly reflect on their roles in society.