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Ontario Coaches Seize Rare Training Opportunity at Portugal’s Cidade do Futebol

By Staff, 05/24/24, 3:30PM EDT


Ten leaders from the Ontario Soccer community spent a few weeks in Lisbon, Portugal for an intensive futsal coaching course led by Jorge Braz - a globally renowned leader in the sport.

Play. Inspire. Unite.

From left to right: Andre Pierre Laurin, Eduard Orellana, Lorenzo Redwood, Yaroslav Nidzelskyi, Nicole Carvalho, Frank Onasanya, Matt Ferreira, Hugo Rodrigues, Said Arwo, Kris Fernandes, Reme Osorio, Tony Fonseca

A group of 30 dynamic Canadian coaches - including 10 from Ontario - recently travelled to Lisbon, Portugal to experience a one-of-a-kind futsal course spearheaded by Canada Soccer, Futsal Canada, and the Portuguese Football Federation. This initiative aims to elevate coaching standards and foster the growth of futsal across Canada by learning from international leaders in the sport.

The intensive coaching course, which ran from May 6-19, provided Canadian coaches the opportunity to obtain the prestigious Portuguese Federation’s Level 1 Futsal Coaching License. Led by top futsal instructors from Portugal, the course covered a wide array of topics including technical-tactical fundamentals, coaching methodology, performance psychology, physiology, laws of the game as well as organization and management of the Portuguese Futsal development system.

Leading the course’s delivery was Jorge Braz, a globally renowned futsal coach and Technical Director with an impressive track record as the reigning FIFA Futsal World Cup Champion, two-time UEFA Futsal Euro Champion, and five-time consecutive winner of the Best Men’s National Team Coach in the World.

"Participating in this training program, starting at the Cidade do Futebol, has been incredibly enriching for all of us,” said Matt Ferreira, Director of Development at Ontario Soccer – and one of the 10 Ontarians involved in this initiative. “Learning from the expertise of Jorge Braz and other distinguished figures of Portuguese futsal has provided invaluable insights that we can take back to Ontario and apply to our realities. The opportunity to enhance our knowledge and build connections both nationally and on an international level is essential for the continued growth and development of futsal."

The classroom sessions were complemented by on-court demonstrations and deliveries, and participants also had the chance to review the initial in-take for Portugal’s National Youth Futsal Development camps. Each of these components allowed the Canadian coaches to observe firsthand the action and intricacies of elite-level futsal, while learning from the best-of-the-best in both an academic and practical setting.

One of the highlights of the program was getting the chance to witness playoff matches from the Portuguese Men’s league (Liga Placard), Women’s league (Liga Feminina Placard), and the U19 Youth National Championship. By exposing the coaches to such high-caliber futsal competitions, as well as grassroots training and other competitions, the understanding of the development pathway in Portugal becomes even more exciting!

As a key component of Ontario Soccer’s Strategic Plan, building the futsal pathways and competitions for all stakeholders is critical for the ongoing development of the sport and this course, with participation of three current Futsal Working Group members, will support the processes and work that is already underway.

Dave Nutt, Interim Director of Development at Canada Soccer, expressed gratitude towards the Portuguese Football Federation and Futsal Canada for their partnership in organizing this groundbreaking initiative. "Coach development is player development, and supporting coaches to learn and grow will also have a lasting impact on the development of futsal players from across the country," Nutt said when the program was announced.

Participants are now returning from Portugal armed with newfound knowledge and insights to help grow the game here in Canada. This collaboration between Canada Soccer, the Portuguese Football Federation, and Futsal Canada underscores a shared commitment to advancing the sport of futsal globally and nurturing the next generation of coaches in our country.

Click here to read an article from the Portuguese Football Federation (Federação Portuguesa de Futebol).