The Antigua & Barbuda Football Association opened its Sixth Annual International “Professional Development Coaches Course” at the ARG on Friday.

The course is designed to aid local coaches improve their skills in order to assist in the development of youth as well as overall football in the country.

Technical Advisor to the ABFA Bryan Hamilton and Alfred Galustian, Co founder of COERVER Coaching will conduct the course which runs through Sunday.

Hamilton is of the view that the coaches who attend this course will at the end of it be better equipped to teach their students.

“The knowledge you will gain on this course will help you to plan and deliver effective sessions that are both challenging and fun for the young players that you work with,” Hamilton stated.

He added: (The course) will hopefully provide the pathway to the development of game effective, technical excellence which we are all striving towards.”

Hamilton stated that each course they design is intended to add to their knowledge and ability as a coach.

He insisted that the professional course will update the coaches in the latest in youth development from around the world.

The Technical Advisor went on to state that the relationship he has developed with the Antiguan coaches has been extremely fulfilling for both parties.

“What we have done here is enormous,” Hamilton claimed.

“Professional clubs around the world are all trying to implement what we have accomplished here and you should be applauded for this.

He went on to say that since the start of the program there have been tangible benefits as shown by the national team’s progression on the FIFA list“It is because of what you (coaches) have done why (the national team) has moved from 170 to 84 in the world,” Hamilton told the coaches.

He said:

“Never say you have done enough.

“Keep looking for new ideas and continue to work.

And not just the coaches but the administration, both past and present must take some credit for implementing this very beneficial program.

“This program was implemented by the previous president Mervyn Richards and enhanced by the present administration,” he said.

“This (improvement) is what they all want for the youth in football in Antigua.”

Officials of the ABFA, First Vice President Fernando “Nando” Abraham, along with General Secretary Gordon “Banks” Derrick both thanked the facilitators, which included national coach Tom Curtis and encouraged the local coaches to take full advantage of the three-day event.

Over the three days the local coaches will learn a vast variety of techniques to impart to their students.

They will learn ways to improve first touch, passing, shooting, and heading.

In addition they will learn one on one offence, one on one defence and ability to run with the ball, at the end of which all coaches will take a written exam.

The coaches will be tested after each session and will have an opportunity for one on one interaction with the facilitators.

The program is one aspect of the ABFA’s mandate which has led to the national team’s success in the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.

In June this year, Antigua & Barbuda will continue its campaign for a place in Brasil for the World Cup when the team takes on USA, before engaging Jamaica and Guatemala in a home and away series