The sessions were designed according to the AFC and UAE Pro League licensing and development initiatives with the aim of focussing on development areas of football.
The UAE Pro League hosted a technical seminar designed for members of the technical staff in professional clubs, which was scheduled over three separate days via video conferencing last week. The seminar included 18 technical and development lectures with a duration of over 13 hours.
The sessions saw the participation of a group of international experts, including specialists in improving performance and developing academies, experts in integrating technology into the technical performance and technical development, in addition to specialists in logistics management of professional football teams in prominent international leagues.
The first session saw the participation of FIFA Technical Expert Ged Roddy MBE, FIFA High-Performance Manager Ed Franklin, and UAE Football Association Technical Director Michel Sablon.
The second session saw the participation of General Manager of First Team Operations at Liverpool FC Ray Haughan and Football Liaison Officer at Celtic FC Brendan O’Neill.
The last session was led by Academy Director at Valencia CF Luis Martinez, Technical Director at Valencia CF Academy Marco Otero, FIFA Technical Expert Pierre Barrieu and FIFA High-Performance Manager Ed Franklin.
The sessions were designed according to the AFC and UAE Pro League licensing and development initiatives with the aim of focussing on development areas of football. They focussed on exploring best practice and saw the participation of a number of experts from different backgrounds alongside local consultants with a firm understanding of football in UAE.
The workshop witnessed several discussions between the participants and the speakers, regarding the technical and tactical aspects, as well as integrating technology with the players’ technical performance, and saw the presentation of the most prominent international experiences in the field.
Commenting on the sessions, UAE Pro League CEO Waleed Al Hosani expressed his delight with the outcome of the sessions and his appreciation for the experts who contributed to enriching the conversation. He also affirmed the UAE Pro League’s keenness to develop the clubs’ technical performance in a way that would benefit the Emirati football sector.
He said: “The sessions provided a platform for a fruitful exchange of experiences, and I hope that these sessions will provide guidance to professional clubs on the best practices in academy development, team management, and technical performance.”
He added: “We are working closely with our clubs to provide them with all the possible resources for the development of technical, administrative, and professional aspects. We are very pleased with the remarkable interaction of the clubs and their representatives, which was evident in the positive discussions throughout the sessions that were managed and attended by a group of international experts.”
“The Pro League always aims to provide all tools that could support the clubs’ plans. The Pro League focuses on development initiatives, especially the technical ones, which works in the favour of the league and its technical value and pushes for further development. We do trust our clubs and their keenness to accomplish all of this,” he concluded.
General Manager of First Team Operations at Liverpool FC Ray Haughan, who spoke at the technical workshop, praised the high professionalism that he felt during the workshop, especially the representatives of the UAE clubs and their keenness to understand all developments related to first-team operations management, logistics management for the team and players, to prepare them for matches according to the highest international standards. Inspired by his work with European champions and English Premier League champions for the past two years Liverpool, he offered our clubs invaluable advice on how to pay attention to all the details related to building a winning team that competes locally and abroad.
He said: “I quickly realised that everyone is highly motivated to provide a highly professional service for the UAE teams, starting from the workshop organizers to the participants. The questions during the workshop were very focused on the role of the team manager and its importance in the club’s structure.”
He also commented on the value of logistical planning for an international club the size of Premier League champions and Champions League winners Liverpool. He noted: “Logistical planning for a club like Liverpool FC is a large and ongoing exercise which has developed over the years on and off the pitch as the club has grown in size. It involves many different departments within the clubs besides football as security, medical, sports science, analysis, nutrition, coaching, press and PR.”
When asked for his advice to the UAE clubs, he said: “My advice for team managers in the Arabian Gulf League would be to collect all information related to everyone in the club and to plan each game individually so that you can ensure the execution goes well and that all team requirements are met. If you do this, you’ll give yourself the best chance of winning each game. We shouldn’t forget that attention to detail and proper planning allows you to execute in a better and more enjoyable manner.”