Asia's "vast size" may restrict football development

Attending the Asian Football Confederation Elite Coaching Education Seminar, Erich Rutemöller, Director of Coaching in the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball-Bund - DFB), said the vast size of Asia and its long travelling distances was a major challenge when it came to football development and exposure. “It is essential that youth teams travel a lot and get exposure by playing other teams. But Asia is a huge continent, unlike Europe. One needs a lot of money to travel. It is easy for us (in Europe) but difficult for you,” he told AFCMedia.

“We have a very developed club structure in Germany (27,000 clubs) and everything related to development of football is centred around the clubs. A lot of work is done at this level. But in Asia all development activities revolve around the national associations,” he noted.

After interacting with the coaches during the seminar, Rutemöller had little doubt about their potential. “The coaches are all educated professionals and I am convinced they can be excellent instructors. They can set targets correctly, know how to promote talent and adjust to different situations. If one can generate new ideas during such seminars then it means these gatherings are a success. At first we have to understand where we are to go up.”