Thursday 19 January 2023, 23:00

Implementing a philosophy for the future of women's football in Thailand

  • The Football Association of Thailand is aiming to increase the number of female coaches in the country

  • Eighteen female coaches have already gained the AFC B Diploma while three have completed the AFC A Diploma, with more female coaches working towards their AFC A Diploma from January 2023 onwards

  • The country’s FA offers coaching courses specially designed for women

At the start of the week, FIFA President Gianni Infantino travelled to Thailand to review the latest football development projects first-hand. By building its new Futsal and Match Operation Center, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) aims to not only develop the country’s futsal national team but also enhance the quality of its coaching and refereeing.

The FIFA Coach Education Scholarship (CES) has a major role to play in this process. FAT is using this programme to try and increase the number of female coaches in the country – one of the primary goals of the FIFA Women’s Development Programme. Successful applicants to the scholarships will receive financial support from FIFA to cover the costs of their coaching courses.

"On behalf of the Women’s Department at the Football Association of Thailand, I would like to thank FIFA for their continuous support and the opportunity to become part of the FIFA Women’s Development Programme, which includes initiatives such as the Coach Education Scholarship," said Rumpha Varaveerakul, Head of the Women’s Department at FAT.

"Thank you for providing our female coaches with the opportunity to advance their careers. I believe that having knowledgeable coach educators who have undergone the necessary training will benefit our players. This will be a key factor in continuously developing our national teams and leagues."

Participant of the AFC A Coaching Diploma course in Thailand (Ms. Chaownee)

Varaveerakul’s words partly reflect the success the country has already achieved in its continuing efforts to promote the women’s game. The women’s national team became the first Thailand side to qualify for a World Cup in 2015. Next month, the Changsuk will take to the pitch at the play-off tournament in New Zealand to battle it out for one of the last three spots at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™. A successful qualifying campaign would take Thailand to their third successive Women’s World Cup after Canada 2015 and France 2019.

Thailand is also working closely with FIFA’s Women’s Football Division to obtain club licenses at a national level for its women’s league. The FAT aims to take this league to the next level by developing the professionalism of the women’s game both on and off the pitch. Committing to training female coaches is an essential part of this process.

"We currently offer scholarship programmes from G to A level as well as a Goalkeeping C course with the intention to develop Thai coaches and the women’s league. With the support of FIFA, we have successfully implemented women’s B and A level programmes," explained Carles Romagosa, Technical Director at FAT.

"With FIFA’s help, the training of female coaches and administrative staff is being encouraged in order to develop women’s football in Thailand as well as our grassroots, youth and senior leagues. So far these female coaches have shown a high level of competency in terms of coach education, national teams and talent identification. Our main objective is to train these female coaches in the philosophy of our FA and retain talent to ensure we can offer better women’s football programmes in the future."

Carles Romagosa, Technical Director at the Football Association of Thailand

Thanks to FAT’s commitment to offering courses specially designed for women, 18 female coaches completed their AFC B Diploma in November 2022. This month, a new group of female coaches will begin working towards their AFC A Diploma.

"I’m glad to have the opportunity to take part in the AFC A Diploma course sponsored by FIFA," said Junpen Seesruam, who featured for Thailand at the Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015 and is currently assistant coach to the women’s national team. "I’ll use both the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills I have gained from this course to help Thailand’s national team to enhance their performance in the future. I’d like to thank FIFA for their support and the course educators for their advice."

Junpen Seesruam (Thailand)