Berger demands curriculum patience

The man charged with transforming Australian football's technical standard at all levels has cautioned against impatience after unveiling a new national curriculum

Han Berger expects it to take at least another 10 years before the effects of the second National Curriculum will begin to be visible in Australian football.

Football Federation Australia on Friday released its exhaustive new document - running to nearly 300 pages - outlining the country's preferred football philosophy and coaching methodology.

The curriculum, the second to be released by FFA since 2009, is aimed at developing players capable of competing with the elite, as the Socceroos find themselves struggling to keep up in the Asian Football Confederation and the world stage.

But national technical director Han Berger has said the changes will not happen overnight, and called for patience as the recommendations are implemented at all levels.

"History shows in other federations like Germany, France and Japan that it takes at least a decade to make this type of fundamental changes and transitions," the Dutchman said.

"And I must say those countries all have the resources and the money to make that happen more quickly. But it's a simple matter of fact that it takes at least a decade to make those changes visible."

The Socceroos have struggled to match the heights they hit in reaching the knockout stages of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and Berger feels the updated curriculum will see Australia regularly produce players capable of living up to - and perhaps surpassing - the legacy of their illustrious predecessors.

"We aim to develop teams and generations of players that are able to play that modern type of football in order to make us qualify consistently. Not because we happen to have a golden generation but to consistently produce those generations," he said.

"The only way to do that is to adapt a structured, long-term approach. That's the only way. So that's what the curriculum is basically about."

Seeking to demonstrate the amount of patience which may be required to lay proper foundations for Australia's footballing future, Berger pointed to the extraordinary long view taken by one of the Socceroos' fellow AFC heavyweights.

"We talk a lot and look a lot at Japan because we are in the same confederations," he said.

"But I think that's actually a very good example of a consistent long-term approach. The Japanese say they have a 50-year football development plan, that actually started in the 1980s. Now recently you see the positive results of that and that football development plan is aimed at winning the World Cup in 2030.

"I coached and I lived and I worked in Japan. The psyche is different. They are more suited to really, meticulously follow a 50-year plan. And they have more resources. But at least it clearly shows that a long-term, consistent approach works. Another good example is Germany, I use that a lot. They made changes in 2000, a decade later, you clearly see the results of that.

"France is another good example, but there are many examples that a consistent long-term approach works. Only, the problem is, you need to be patient."

Read Football Federation Australia's National Curriculum

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