Tuesday 23 August 2022, 14:00

Workshop takes FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme to next level

  • Participants of the FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme met for three-day workshop at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022

  • 20 female coaches mentored by some of the best in women’s football

  • Programme aims to develop and empower a new generation of female coaches

In May 2022, FIFA launched the second edition of its Coach Mentorship Programme where 20 women from across the globe will be mentored by 20 of the game’s most accomplished coaches. The accomplished mentor list includes two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ winning coaches and the current Women’s Olympic Football Gold Medallist coach.

As one of the eight programmes available under the FIFA Women’s Development Programme banner, the FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme aims to develop and empower a new generation of female coaches who are individually mentored by a top coach from the women’s game over an 18 month period.

In a key milestone of the programme, the coaches came together for a three-day workshop at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ which created an invaluable forum for knowledge sharing between the coaches and saw some of the mentees and mentors meet in person for the first time.

The workshop was opened by FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura. In her opening remarks, she highlighted the strategic goals of the FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme: “This workshop is a fantastic opportunity to share skills, knowledge and experience, and learn from each other. And those learnings are very crucial to the development and growth of the women’s game, as you all know. This initiative aims to develop and empower a new generation of female coaches.”

In addition to providing talented coaches with world-class mentors, the programme also aims to help female coaches to achieve greater results in their current positions, offer coaching guidance and support on career development, and create a global network of female coaches.

“It’s an excellent programme. It allows us to meet great coaches – or great female coaches – very experienced people, too. It also allows us to share all our experiences on the pitch, but in life, too, amongst mentors and mentees,” said France women’s national team coach Corinne Diacre.

One of the mentees is South Sudan’s women’s national team coach Shilene Booysen who has been paired with 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning coach Even Pellerud and is keen to benefit from invaluable first-hand advice. “This is a great opportunity for us all to come together and share ideas," said Booysen.

"Generally just to communicate with each other about things that we have gone through, or might be going through, and just to learn from people who have been there before. As a mentee I think it is really important for me to learn as much as I can, to listen to as much as I can, and to share as much as I can. This is a great opportunity to learn from the very best in the women’s game."

Desiree Ellis, CAF Women’s Coach of the Year and CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champion with South Africa, cherished the opportunity to gain new ideas and share best practice. “I think the specialness of the programme is that you get to not only have your mentee but also have all these other top coaches that you network with," she said.

"So, it’s a learning tool, not just us teaching the mentees but us learning from other coaches as well, and I think that’s what makes it so exciting. You have FIFA Women’s World Cup winners, you have Olympic winners here, you get to pick their brains, and I think that’s what’s just amazing about this programme.”

As part of the workshop, mentors and mentees also attended some of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup matches at the San Jose Estadio Nacional. FIFA’s youth tournaments are a further key pillar to develop women’s football, in line with The Vision 2020-2023.

Olympic gold medal-winning coach Beverly Priestman highlighted the importance of the global showpiece in Costa Rica. saying: “I just look at the team for Canada that won the Olympic Games: 50 per cent of that team, in the past eight years, have come through a youth system. So many of the best players in the world have played for their youth team.

"I know for me, Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence – you keep adding some key players around the world – they’ve come through those tournaments. And I think it teaches players all of the tournament skills. Playing in a tournament is very different to playing week in, week out.

"You turn around games quickly, you learn how to win. I think it’s incredibly important that every nation involved invests in their youth system, because ultimately that’s what produces the future."

List of formed pairs of Mentors and Mentees

Vlatko Andonovski (MKD)USA WNT Coach Katerina Mileska U17 WNT Coach (MKD)
Epifania Benitez (PAR)Paraguay U17 WNT CoachAna Laura Galindo Domínguez U17 WNT Coach (MEX)
Kay Cossington (ENG)Head of Women’s Technical - The FA Caroline Sjöblom U19 WNT Coach (SWE)
Corinne Diacre (FRA)France WNT Coach Simone Jatobá U17 WNT Coach (BRA)
Desiree Ellis (RSA)South Africa WNT Coach Maggie Chombo U20 WNT Coach (MWI)
Iraia Iturregi (ESP)Athletic Bilbao Women’s Head CoachKat Smith Western Sydney Wanderers FC Head Coach
Pedro Martinez Losa (ESP)Scotland WNT Coach Sonia Haziraj WNT (Several)
Joe Montemurro (AUS)Juventus Women’s Head Coach Debbi McCulloch Spartans FC Women Coach (SCO)
Francisco Neto (POR)Portugal WNT Coach Amelia Valverde Villalobos WNT Coach (CRC)
Nils Nielsen (DEN)Switzerland WNT CoachLidija Stojkanovic U19 WNT Coach (SER)
Even Pellerud (NOR)Former Norway WNT Coach & FWWC Winning Coach Shilene Booysen WNT Coach (SSD)
Bev Priestman (ENG)Canada WNT Coach & Olympic Gold Medal Winning CoachKatarzyna Maria BarlewiczU19 WNT Coach (POL)
Tom Sermanni (SCO)Former NZ, USA & AUS WNT Coach. (Current Head of Women’s Football at Western Sydney Wanderers) Pamela Conti WNT Coach (VEN)
Ives Serneels (BEL) Belgium WNT Coach Natalie Lawrence U20 (NZL) & Wellington Phoenix (Women) Assistant Coach
Anna Signeul (SWE) Former Finland WNT CoachStefania Maggiolini Fort U17 WNT Techn. Assistant (URU)
Pia Sundhage (SWE)Brazil WNT Coach (+ Previously SWE, USA, CHN) Tracey Kevins U20 WNT Coach (USA)
Tina Theune (GER)Former Germany WNT Coach & FWWC Winning Coach Kathrin Peter U20 WNT Coach (GER)
Monica Vergara (MEX)Former Mexico WNT Coach Laura del Río Garcia U23 WNT Coach (ESP)
Jorge Vilda (ESP)Spain WNT Coach Elna Dixon WNT Coach (NCA)
Chan Yuen Ting (HKG)Jiangsu LFC Head Coach Manar Mustafa U17 WNT Coach (JOR)