Future leaders from the AFC Member Associations have praised the highly-acclaimed Football Administration Certificate (FAC) programme for its comprehensive curriculum and emphasis in developing vital transferable skills sets from the classroom to the workplace.
The nine-month programme, which has been designed in collaboration with academic partner World Academy of Sport (WAoS), focuses on seven key competency modules and has benefitted an impressive 59 graduates from the first three editions since its inauguration in 2016.
“One of the key strengths is the holistic approach to the modules, and at some stage, we do begin to see that all the modules are intertwined,” said Jill Espiritu, Media and Marketing Officer at the Guam Football Association.
“When you return to the day-to-day operations in your Member Association, you also begin to build confidence in your abilities to enhance your plans and overcome future challenges. Above all, I believe that the course prepares you for personal and professional development.”
“One of the key modules focuses on building a strategic plan for your Member Association, but I have learned to create a strategic plan for myself. I recognise the importance of mapping out a plan and working towards achieving my career goals and where I see myself in the next ten years,” added Espiritu, who was one of three students to receive a distinction in the recently-concluded second and third FAC editions in March 2018.
Comprising distance-learning and three quarterly face-to-face sessions, participants were also quick to praise the dynamic value proposition presented by the expansive viewpoints and diverse contributions by fellow peers from the AFC Member Associations.
“One of the things that I got out of this FAC was the diversity of perspective and full spectrum of football administration areas. The certificate programme has given me a broader understanding of the impact of my work and the experiences shared by my course mates has been essential in understanding the various considerations in all the areas of football development,” said Kieran Andrew Lilley, International and Government Relations Coordinator at Football Federation Australia.
The FAC reinforces the AFC’s ambitions, through its Vision and Mission, to provide focused and dedicated services for its Member Associations. Above all, the programme is inspiring a sense of belief amongst tomorrow’s leaders of Asian football to scale new heights of excellence in administration and professionalism.
“As a former international footballer, building a viable career in and even after football has been a challenge, but now having been exposed to the business of football, I know now I can do big things,” added Soleen AlZoubi, Technical Director Assistant and Head of Women’s Football from the Jordan Football Association.
“The key lessons I learn is the importance of planning and I will always remember in my mind the words from this course: what gets measured, gets done!”
Having played a pivotal role to the success of the programme, academic partner WAoS have been buoyant by the progress of the three batches of graduates thus far, highlighting the undeniable eagerness demonstrated by participants in applying their key learnings into purposeful and decisive action.
“I have been so impressed with the groups coming through. They are committed and have a desire to learn but beyond that, they want to put into practice. I think that is the unique factor about all the three batches of graduates, many of them are saying: I want to use this when I go back to my Member Association,” said Steve Griffiths, Senior Visiting Fellow at WAoS.
“Most of them are presenting actual examples of implementation, which is incredibly pleasing for us and it makes me so proud to be associated with them. Speaking to previous graduates, we are also considering introducing a new module on human resources to enhance the programme for prospective students.”
“In terms of comparison, and I have worked with several sports bodies and aspiring administrators, I would say their commitment to learning is second to none.”