MIAMI, Florida– Not only was The Best FIFA Football Awards held last week in London, England a chance to honor the top men’s and women’s players and coaches in football over the last year, but it also served as an opportunity to further the development of football in the Concacaf region.
Concacaf Director of Development Jason Roberts attended a series of meetings in Zurich, along with Technical Directors and Managers from Concacaf Member Associations, and one of the biggest takeaways from the meetings was the impact of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League.
“Competition drives development, so that’s why the topic of the CNL was so big at the conference,” said Roberts in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“It was an opportunity to talk with Technical Directors and Managers to hear their learnings from Matchday 1 of the Nations League. It is about having access to elite competition, that these games are seen and that nations have an opportunity to scout opponents,” added Roberts.
Concacaf was well represented at the conference, with key figures like former Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Honduras and Jamaica Head Coach Bora Milutinovic, U.S. Under-20 Coach Tab Ramos, Jamaica Head Coach Theodore Whitmore, Puerto Rico Head Coach Amado Guevara and Canada Head Coach John Herdman making up a panel discussion that focused on the development of football in the Concacaf region.
Those discussions along with talks with Concacaf Technical Directors and Managers made for a vibrant exchange of ideas.
“I think the key learning point from our time there was to ensure that in the future we get the Technical Directors together more often so they can share ideas and exchange the knowledge they have gained. Our focus is to get those Technical Directors more support,” said Roberts.
As a former Grenada international, you can count Roberts as one of the many fans of the newly formed CNL.
“I am so glad to see that we now have the CNL. As a player I would have loved to have played in these types of games. These are games that fall in the FIFA window, so now Concacaf players can leave their clubs during an international break and return home to play with their national team. Having competitive games on a regular basis across the region is sure to improve football in our region,” concluded Roberts.