Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Interview with Ivan Senzen, coach of Dinamo Zagreb's under-7s through to under-11s

Photo: Ivan Senzen

Interview with Ivan Senzen, 28, coach of the Dinamo Zagreb youth sides ranging from the under-7s to the under-11s.

Walter Pless: What is your role with Dinamo Zagreb?

Ivan Senzen: I’m the trainer for the young guys at the club under the age of eleven.

WP: How many teams do you have?

IS: I had two teams last year, but this year, this new competitive year, I’ll have one team. There are four teams in all under the age of eleven and I am one of four coaches.

WP: What is the emphasis in those age groups?

IS: It’s mostly on technique. Ninety per cent is on technique and ten per cent on something like coordination, agility and so on. Ninety per cent is on technique, so the goal is in these four years of training from under-7 to under-11, the boys have to be technically complete as players so that they can go onto the big field and go and play real soccer.

WP: What sort of soccer do they play at under-7 level?

IS: At under-7 they play soccer on a half field and they play soccer eight plus one, so it is eight outfield players and a goalkeeper. So, it’s a little bit shorter the field and passes are shorter and everything is scaled down.

WP: When do they start playing 11-a-side?

IS: Under-11 to under-12. That’s when they start to play 11-a-side.
WP: And you have lots of talented players?

IS: Yes, always. Croatia is known for it. In every team we have two, three, four or five. It depends.

WP: Does the senior coach and the technical director take an interest in your boys?

IS: Yes, but not as much as we would like. Our Academy Director is taking a greater interest, but we would like our big boss to take an interest also. He comes often to our under-19, under-18, under-17 games, but these little ones, not so much.

WP: Were you a player?

IS: I played in the under-18s for two years, but I saw I was not going to be a professional so I went to school and I finished in the faculty with all the degrees, so I’ve been coaching for six years now.

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