Kingston, Jamaica - The first Concacaf workshop targeting team managers and general secretaries was deemed a success by participants and instructors alike.
Staged at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, the three-day event had an exciting climax on Friday and many attendees gave the development activity the proverbial thumbs up.
Senior men’s team manager of the British Virgin Islands Football Association Wendell Nichols was blown away by the information that flowed from the course, admitting that he is leaving Kingston better equipped than he had arrived.
“The workshop was very impactful and very informative… I must say I liked the way they (instructors) passed on the information as they were thorough, very methodical and very professional.
“I am leaving here (Kingston) with a lot more knowledge that I can take back to my territory, and I am sure as a manager, it will allow me to conduct my duties in a much more efficient manner. I am just hoping that we can have these courses more often, and I am sure when this course is all evaluated and they make improvements along the way to make it better, I would really come back for a refresher,” said Nichols.
He added: “Most of all, this course showed me where I am at and where I need to go and I have found that I was way behind even though I thought before that I was doing a good job.”
While the course was mainly tailored for the team manager in the first instance, the curriculum was broadened to include general secretaries as it was discovered that there is often a disconnect between the two offices - seen as an irony since both are unavoidably linked in purpose and function.
“There is no school you can go to become a team manager as that is something that a lot of the times you learn as you go along, so we have seen the need and recognise that we can help develop a curriculum for team administrators, and one of the reasons for bringing the general secretaries along is because a lot of the time the gen-sec doesn’t know what the team manager is doing and vice versa, and we have to get them to understand the importance of communications between the two and that they must work hand in hand,” said instructor, Rene John-Williams, a football administrator in her native Trinidad and Tobago.
General secretary of the US Virgin Islands Football Association, Lishak-Shumba Bailey, says the workshop was an eye-opener.
“I think these workshops are very essential and I hope they do more of them as they are beneficial on many platforms as they help you to manage your team better.
“I would go back to my country and report to my team that the experience was tremendous and it is time for us to do a lot more work as we managers don’t know all the roles they should be partaking in and this is the time for us to take what we learn from the course to educate ourselves,” he shared.
Another instructor, Bermuda Football Association general secretary, David Sabir, underlined the importance of the multi-faceted functions carried out by the team manager and the general secretary in the overall operations of the football machinery.
“The role of the team manager is key in the operation of a team in any international competition… this is the first course, which Concacaf saw fit to put on and we think it’s critical and well-timed.
“No facet of football operates in isolation and team managers are usually appointed through the mechanism of the association, whether through the executive arm or the administrative arm, therefore the general secretary is vitally important because the information that comes from Concacaf is usually sent to the General Secretary and the distribution of such rests in his hand.
“It is also important that the general secretary is aware of what takes place at this (team manager) level as well and there must be a very good working relationship between the two and should be on the same page, so having general secretaries and team managers in the same workshop can only bode well for an improved organisational structure,” said a beaming Sabir.
He is confident that the participants will return to their respective territories armed with information and knowledge that some of them would not have been exposed to prior.
“They would have learnt what needs to take place before, during and after a match or a tournament... they learnt that there are regulations they have to comply with, they were given tools to create checklists and standard operating procedures, they benefited from information on how to inspect stadiums, training facilities, hotels,” said the Bermudan.
While the workshop, the first in a series to be executed by Concacaf across the region, mainly emphasized national team managers and general secretaries, team managers of Jamaican clubs Portmore United and Arnett Gardens were embraced in a clear demonstration of the all-inclusive philosophy of the program.
“The programme is really designed for the National team manager, however, we have two clubs that are preparing for a Concacaf competition joining us as well... but the great expectation is that the member associations take this information, this course content and take it back to their home countries and run the same workshops, not only for their national team manager, but their club team managers as there is more competition coming from Concacaf as already we have Nations League, Champions League, Concacaf League, Caribbean Cup Championship, etc.
“ So we have club competition happening at the professional and amateur levels and what we want is that everyone is on the same page, so when you get the information you internalize it, you understand it and you reciprocate by having the same workshop in your country,” expressed instructor John-Williams.
Portmore team manager Rohn Rainford was overjoyed with the exposure afforded him through the three days “of exciting teaching and learning exercise.
“It was a very useful course for me, especially being a new kid on the block. I certainly got some ideas as to how to be a better team manager and to get the team to perform better.
“I think the key for this workshop is how we can better organize, plan and how to build on the plan and how to execute that plan.
“I think these workshops are important, and it’s a benefit when you have good team managers who can take care of everything and let the players concentrate on playing so they can get a better result on the pitch. I must say kudos to Concacaf for getting these workshops out, and it’s great when you can have members from all across the Caribbean in one room to share ideas,” he said.
Both Portmore and Arnett are participating in the Scotiabank Concacaf League, which gets underway July 31.
The workshops are part of Concacaf’s overall strategy to grow the game in the region, with the aim of developing the management capacity of teams. This investment in human capital has become increasingly necessary given the growing amount of power granted to Member Associations, including the League of Nations.
Topics covered were:
• Functions and responsibilities of the team manager
• Pre-event management
• Matchday administration
• Tournament management
• Event management
• Knowledge of the stadium
• The training facility
• Management of team sports equipment
Program participants should deliver similar programs in their metropolitan areas to develop the general administrative infrastructure of the local team.
The participating member associations are:
• Jamaica (host)
• The British Virgin Islands
• Cayman Islands
• Turks and Caicos Islands
• United States Virgin Islands
The attending clubs were:
• Arnett Gardens FC – 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League participant
• Portmore United FC – 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf League participant