Back-to-back A-Licences in store

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The number of Kiwis holding the world’s second-highest coaching qualification is set to rise significantly as the first intake of OFC/NZF A-Licence participants nears graduation and a second batch kicks off the process.

Part One of the A-Licence was held for the first ever time in this country towards the end of last year with Part Two to be completed this December. The 18 New Zealand-based candidates – and others from all over the Pacific Islands – going through that inaugural course will then be in a position to receive their A-Licence qualification.

They will be followed swiftly by a further group as, such was the demand the first time around, a second A-Licence course has now been scheduled little more than a year after the start of the historic first.

Part One will take place over 12 days from February 25 of next year with Part Two to be completed in eight days from August 16. Both parts will be held at the Millennium Institute of Sport and Health in Auckland.

As the pre-course requirements and selection criteria are very stringent, the deadline for applications is the end of July, 2016.

New Zealand Football Technical Director Rob Sherman says the staging of back-to-back A-Licence courses shows the rate of progress being made in the coach development realm and the interest from the footballing public to be a part of it.

“New Zealand Football has a tradition of good coach education and we’re trying not to make too many radical changes,” he says.

“But we’ve made massive strides in the last 18 months, both in the level of activity and the level of engagement. The numbers have been really positive and I think that’s an indication there’s a real thirst from the coaching community for opportunities to grow and develop, which we are continuing to provide.”

Around 6,000 coaches from all over the country were developed last year through pathway courses or informal workshops and over 16,000 are now registered in the New Zealand Football coaches’ database.

Sherman says the continual development of coaches is key to the health of the sport, at both the volunteer and elite ends of the spectrum.

“It’s absolutely vital,” he says.

“At a volunteer level, where you have mums and dads who might not have a football background, it’s pivotal they are given the ability to manage groups of young people, keep them engaged and put on activities that are fun and enjoyable. Equally important, at the other end of the scale we need a band of professional coaches who can maximise the investment of their time to really get the best out of their football knowledge because their skillset has improved.”

The A-Licence stands at the pinnacle of that pathway and the need to attain such a qualification will take on increased importance over the coming years.

“We’re moving towards a situation where coaches will need to have accreditations to coach at various levels of the game, certainly at the more advanced levels. So our international coaches will need a minimum of an A-Licence and our national league coaches will also be moving towards that in time,” Sherman says.

“The A-Licence will be the highest we offer and we certainly hope coaches aspire to achieve that level and fulfil their potential.”

Aimed at coaches of elite teams and players, the A-Licence course will educate candidates to apply their vision and philosophy to develop senior teams playing at the highest standard in New Zealand.

Candidates will be expected to actively participate in all aspects of group and individual tasks, both practical and theoretical, in an interactive environment.

For more information please email Coach Development Manager Steven Dillon at

Course: OFC/NZF A-Licence
Part 1: 25 February – 8 March (12 Days)
Part 2: 16 August – 24 August (8 Days)
Location: Millennium Institute of Sport and Health, Antares Place, Rosedale, Auckland (non-residential)
Cost: $3150+GST
Application Link: