FAW / UEFA Pro Licence
It was natural for the second residential of the FA Wales / UEFA Pro Licence to focus upon the Real Madrid v FC Sevilla UEFA Super Cup final this week in Cardiff. The course was held at The Celtic Manor and the National Football Development Centre in Newport.
The course began on Monday with a once in a lifetime opportunity and honour to spend the afternoon with legendary Real Madrid Manager Carlo Ancelotti. Mr Ancelotti was supported by his Technical staff Paul Clement and Fernando Hierro. One of the game's most successful managers, Mr Ancelotti opened the afternoon with a detailed insight into his philosophy and tactical planning, before sharing his pre-match presentations used recently for both the UEFA Champions League and Super Cup finals. The afternoon concluded with an opportunity for the FAW students to ask questions on wide ranging issues within the game.
A fantastic afternoon was followed by observing Real Madrid's training session at Cardiff City Stadium. An opportunity to observe coaches working on the grass with world class players such as Ronaldo, Benzema, Ramos, Casillas, World Cup sensation James Rodrigues, and of course Wales' own Gareth Bale, was a wonderful experience.
Osian Roberts Technical Director commented, “to host the UEFA Super cup in Cardiff was a fantastic occasion for Welsh Football and for our Pro Licence course to be given such an inspirational insight into one of the world’s most successful and tactically minded managers Carlo Ancelotti, was a real pleasure and honour for our students, especially around a European Final. I’m indebted to Paul Clement for arranging this opportunity”.
On Tuesday and Wednesday Osian Roberts was joined by Wales' National Team Analysis Manager Esther Wills as the students were taught how to use Performance Analysis software. During the Super Cup Final candidates worked in small groups focussing on particular aspects of the game and using the iCoda app on their iPads to code elements of the game.
Wednesday morning was spent using Sportscode video analysis software to analyse their clips under the watchful eye of Wales First Team Analysis Manager Esther Wills before each group presented their 45 minute findings.
The UEFA Pro Licence is a very intense course and is very demanding. After a late night returning to the hotel at 23.30 on Tuesday evening following the match, the students were up and working at 8.30 Wednesday morning and the last presentation finished at 21.30 in the evening.
Osian Roberts said "The work ethic demonstrated this week by the students has been excellent, and it's something they will need to take into their Managerial and Coaching careers because it's such a demanding job. In these two days we've focussed on the importance of providing evidence when analysing a game - your opinion alone is not enough anymore. The second stage is learning the art of how to communicate this information to the players. Some of the guys are better at this than others, but they can all improve, and that's my role."
The course concluded on Thursday morning with a visit to the impressive Swansea City FC first team training headquarters. Pro Licence student and First Team Manager Garry Monk led the training session assisted by fellow Pro Licence student and assistant coach Kristian O'Leary.
The First Team were put through their paces in preparation for their early kick at Old Trafford on Saturday. Welsh International captain Ashely Williams, as well as Neil Taylor, Dai Cornell and Josh Sheehan all looked sharp as Monk led the group from unopposed patterns of play to a game versus the U21 squad.
Course Director Roberts added "This week we've seen two excellent practical sessions. The students have seen the experienced, astute Carlo Ancelotti and the young, enthusiastic Garry Monk and no doubt the guys can learn from both. Garry has prepared his team thoroughly for the Manchester United fixture and his game plan is meticulous so hopefully they'll get a good start to the campaign on Saturday."