The ICCE, represented by its Manager for Strategy and Development, Mr Sergio Lara-Bercial, joined leading coaching and coach education experts from six of Europe’s top football associations at St. George’s Park between 19th and 21st November for a new FA-led initiative – the Coaching Research Exchange Group.
Taking place over three days, the new research group welcomed representatives from a select group of footballing nations including Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and Denmark, to deliver presentations on: Identity, Playing Style, Coaching, and Leadership.
The aim of the group aim is to develop and strengthen relationships between the governing bodies as well as create a cross-learning culture based on sharing ideas, research and best practice.
The event is the idea of The FA’s research manager, Dr Wayne Allison. He believes the initiative will, in the long term, support the participating associations to raise the standards of coaching and coach education within their respective national games.
"It was apparent through a bench-marking analysis commissioned by The FA that the position and progress of coaching, coach education and development was closely connected with mission, structure and culture at an organisational level,” he said.
"Every organisation has the same end game but how they get there is very different.
“The idea [of CREG] is that through regular meetings and communications we can share ideas, discuss problems and ultimately help each other raise the bar even higher."
The idea received positive feedback from all of the attending delegations.
The Spanish FA’s secretary of coach education, Oscar Callejo, believes it provided an excellent opportunity to discover new ways of developing areas of their own coach and player development.
He said: “We think it is a great initiative to which the Spanish FA can contribute with all its knowledge and experience.
“In turn we can get information from other collaborating associations in those areas which are less developed by our association.”
Meanwhile, Germany’s head of coach education, Bjorn Muller, believes that the CREG’s focus on sharing of ideas and encouraging debate around those ideas will prove beneficial for everyone involved.
“We would benefit from joining CREG through knowledge acquisition and expansion through exchange and discussion,” said Muller.
UEFA have also welcomed the idea, with Mordechai Shpigler, a member of UEFA‘s development and technical assistance committee, revealing that he is pleased to see the inititative bringing associations together.
“Collaboration between FAs is important. I think that it is an excellent idea.”
ICCE’s representative Sergio Lara-Bercial found the event very inspiring. He said “it is very humbling to see representatives from all these great footballing nations coming together to share and learn from each other in such a great environment. ICCE is very honoured to have been invited to take part in an event of such magnitude."