Road to AFC coaching licence - Part 1

In this first of a three-part special, Goal Singapore’s Ahmad Khan ventures into the realm of coaching by participating in the AFC ‘C’ Coaching Course

After years of thinking about it, months of waiting for it, and days leading up to it, I finally began my AFC ‘C’ Coaching Certificate Course on Wednesday.

Why coaching?

Everyone knows about football and more often than not, every person out there has an opinion of the game and how it should be played. But being a football journalist, it is my responsibility to be more knowledgeable than the average voice on the street. My hope is that the course would further establish my knowledge of the game and give me a totally different dimension of looking at it, rather than just viewing it as an observer, or even participating in it as a player.

On top of all that, I would like to try my hands at coaching and see how I fare being a football coach. The thought of imparting knowledge to people about football is a pretty surreal feeling and it is with great hope I’ll get the opportunity to do so in the near future.

Pre-requisite

Prior to attending the course, I had to pass a skills test and a theory test before I could be considered for selection.

The skills test comprised three elements: dribbling around nine cones, juggling 15 times at one go and a passing accuracy test, each of which had to be completed within 30 seconds. I am very aware that I am not the most skillful player around and the highest I’ve played is at tertiary level, so I was a little concerned about fulfilling all the criteria. Thankfully though, I didn’t mess up any of the tests. In fact, I cleared it quite comfortably, if I may brag a little.

The theory test was pretty straightforward, as the test was wholly based on the coaching guidebook that was handed out when I registered months ago. It did feel like being back in school, trying to memorise facts and definitions of terms and theories. I really have to thank my memory for not failing me during the test.

Initial impressions

This isn’t just a simple "attend-and-you-will-pass" course. In fact, it’s not as easy at all to be on the path to call myself Coach Ahmad.

There are elements of theoretical concepts and practical lessons I’d have to be able to conduct that will be graded to determine whether I’m qualified enough to be a coach.

Yes, I do feel the pressure. On top of the pressure of wanting to succeed, I look around me and see many established local footballers who are also attending the course. There are the likes of former Singapore international Precious Emuejeraye, Home United captain Noh Rahman and Balestier Khalsa duo Poh Yi Feng and Sofiyan Abdul Hamid just to name a few. How can a guy with barely any professional football experience match-up to the likes of such household names?

I have to admit, there is a little bit of an inferiority complex I have to battle with. But I’m trying to look at it this way; wouldn’t they be the best people to be working together with to try and attain the coaching licence?

I’ll share more of my experiences on what goes on during the course. It’s going to be one heck of a challenge, but should I get through this, it’ll be a pretty huge achievement in my book.