Grassroots development way forward: CONCACAF

Bridgetown (Barbados), Jan 31 (IANS) CONCACAF president Jeff Webb has said development will remain the vision of the football confederation, as the region seeks to build a strong football structure for success at the global level.

He pointed out Friday that several major programmes had already been undertaken at the grassroots level to develop the sport throughout the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and said heavy investment could continue in this area.
“We have to continue to develop. We have invested heavily in human resources within the development division and that development division is of course focussed primarily on grassroots,” Webb told CMC.
“We had a club licensing seminar in Miami, we had a women’s symposium at the women’s championship (last year), we now have new standards for coaching education – our ‘D’ license, ‘C’ license, ‘B’ and ‘A’ license of course, and elevating the standard of education. The vision for our confederation is educate, develop and win.”
Webb noted that though financial assistance was crucial for member associations, just as important was coaching education and various age group development programmes.
He said this vision had already taken off in the Eastern Caribbean where a number of initiatives were already being played out.
“We are investing along with our member associations. The financial assistance programme which CONCACAF gives these member associations is really just a first step because when you continue to partner with our national associations – the associations in the Eastern Caribbean – not only on Under-15 tournaments or Under-15 girls tournament,” Webb stressed.
“But when you look across the landscape and you recognise the investment made by CONCACAF, the investment in coaching education programmes that unfortunately never existed before but now of course through our commitment to development, we’re very honoured (to have achieved this).
“We believe that the right track is to invest from the grassroots level. Just like how you build a house from the foundation, let’s develop the youth, let’s give them an opportunity to get to their full potential.”