Current and former Perth Glory and Perth Glory Women players were among the 16 people participating in a four-day C Licence coaching course at Gibbney Reserve.
Professional Footballers Australia, the players union, worked in conjunction with Football Federation Australia to set-up the course, which was facilitated by Football West.
PFA Chief Executive John Didulica emphasised the importance of his organisation’s relationship with Member Federations and the national governing body in encouraging players to improve their coaching education.
“We’re committed to trying to keep current and former players engaged in the sport,” he said. “The motivation is to start driving the conduct of these C Licence courses and we’ve had constructive dialogue on how we can continue to enhance the experience of participants.”
Football West Head of Development and former Perth Glory skipper Jamie Harnwell spoke to participants about the course and thanked them for their commitment to continuing their football education through coaching.
“It’s great that someone like Jamie can speak to players about his own journey and it’s so important to tie those stories together,” Didulica said.
Football West Technical Manager Cris Ola, who is conducting the course, hoped early steps in coach education would lead players into significant roles in future.
“Hopefully, we’ll see some of them in the A-League as assistant coaches or maybe head coaches,” he said. “But regardless of the level they want to achieve, attending a C Licence course is a great way to extend their understanding of coaching.”
The course focuses on the 11 v 11 aspects of the game and encourages coaches to apply the National Curriculum to improve performance and develop key coaching competencies.
The course also provides knowledge in match analysis, planning, conducting and evaluating training sessions, effective team talk and pre-season plans.
C Licence coaches are accredited to coach at semi-professional and elite youth levels.
Perth Glory Women midfielder Shawn Billam, who is taking part, is keen for more women to work towards coach accreditation.
“The more female coaches we have, the more girls there are that will get involved,” she said.
“I’m a Physical Education teacher at Irene McCormack Catholic College in Butler where I’m helping to run a soccer program for around 30 kids, 12 of whom are girls.
“I want to take the female side of the program and make it bigger, and hopefully produce more female players.”
Former Perth Glory captain Jamie Coyne, who is also on the C Licence course, said coaching provided a different perspective to playing.
“I’ve been involved in football for most of my life but it’s usually as a player, so this course is helping me learn how to structure my knowledge and look at the theory side of the game in more depth,” he said.
“I would encourage anyone who is thinking about it to give the course a go. It doesn’t necessarily teach you only about football; it teaches you how to structure everything so that you can teach others so I think that’s a great starting point.
“The course will help me in not just planning out an individual session, but helping players get better and achieve their goals over a period of time.”
Participants in the C Licence course included: