At the highest level, we are all familiar with the names such as Guardiola, Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson, but there remains a mystery and confusion around exactly what the role of a coach involves.

At the driving seat of any team is the coach, whether the team plays an entertaining brand of football, that gets results or that produces high quality football. The coach is the symbol of the team, the figurehead and the reference point.

In modern football, coaches are not only required to be great technically and tactically, but they also need to be master psychologists, able to understand the character and personality that drives the players that they are working with.

Coaches also need to be able to manage upwards, which means that they should be able to forge a strong relationship with their board, management and fans. Ultimately, how they manage the expectations of these key stakeholders is what will determine how long they eventually stay with the team.

In order to cope with the increasing demands of modern day football and to be able to deal with elite level players, coaches must raise standards themselves, have multiple skills and aim to be masters in their craft. There are no specific education requirements for anyone wishing to become a coach, but there are qualification requirements in order to manage a club team.

There can be no doubt that coaching is a difficult and complex profession, however, it also provides excitement and variation due to the number of different tasks that one can be assigned to do.

The GFF is committed to improving the standards in coaching throughout The Gambia. In recent years, prominent courses have produced CAF ‘B’ and ‘C’ license holders. The GFF ‘D’ License is the first step on the ladder in coaching although special dispensation is given to experienced coaches and former players.

Stay tuned to the website for further information on training courses.

Football is a game of skill, imagination, creativity and decision making. Coaches must enhance these elements.