Just 36 hours after the bitter disappointment of their Hyundai A-League exit, a trio of Perth Glory players were taking part in the first B Licence coaching course.
Just 36 hours after the bitter disappointment of their Hyundai A-League exit, a trio of Perth Glory players were taking part in the first B Licence coaching course held in WA, which was delivered by Football Federation Australia-s advanced coaching manager Rob Sherman.
Shane Smeltz, whose late penalty rattled a cross bar in the loss to Melbourne Victory, Socceroos defender Michael Thwaite and Glory skipper Jacob Burns were among 18 coaches at Bayswater City-s Frank Drago Reserve last weekend for the start of the week-long course.
Former Socceroos defender Chris Coyne, WA-s Skill Acquisition Trainer Brad Hassell, Perth Glory women-s midfielder Elisa D-Ovidio and Nottingham Forest ladies coach Tanya Oxtoby also took part.
While attendance at the course was not exactly a silver lining for the current Glory trio, it at least provided a worthy distraction from the events of last Friday night at Etihad Stadium.
Midfielder Burns described himself as a “true believer” in the power of football education and was thankful to have a football project to take his mind off the Victory defeat, in which referee Jarred Gillett had awarded Victory a controversial penalty.
“I spoke to (Football West technical director) Cris Ola and Rob when I first came in and they could probably see that I was quite physically drained and mentally drained from the weekend-s episodes,” Burns said. “But it-s a way to get my mind off the game that-s just passed and the events that have happened.
“I-m a true believer in education; player education and coach education for the benefit of our game and the future of our game.”
At 34, Burns still has a lot to offer Glory on the field and expected his B licence education would be beneficial long before he had slung his boots over a peg in the shed and had turned his attention to coaching full-time.
“I think it can not only benefit me while I-m still playing... I-m thoroughly enjoying it,” he said.
Sherman, who played for Swansea, Cardiff and Hull before turning his hand to coaching with the Wales Football Association, said an increasing number of current players were looking at coaching courses before their playing careers had run out of steam.
“It-s great to have three current players from Perth Glory here. They-re taking the opportunity to get prepared for what comes after football,” said Sherman, who pointed out that Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond had recently allowed Michael Bridges to miss training to attend a course in Sydney.
Sherman said FFA-s decision to deliver courses in several locations around the country had been very well received.
“The mission statement for us really is to be much more accessible for coaches,” he said. “It-s OK to go into central courses, and when you have limited resources that-s the way to do it. But we-re in a position now we can bring them to where people are more localised.”
The course is split over two six-day periods separated by a two-month break, after which Burns will switch his entire focus back to playing matters.
“We were really enjoying our football (before losing to Victory) and you could see that in the way we were playing and the way we were conducting ourselves,” Burns said.
“I-m really looking forward to where we can take this club. We-ve got some talented players in there. We-ve got a very good philosophy and structure to our game now and I think that we-re only kind of scratching the surface of where we can be.”