Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Payne starts work as Tasmanian technical director

Photo: Steve Payne

Steve Payne, a 59-year-old Englishman, has started work as Football Federation Tasmania’s new technical director and game development manager.

He has been working as an academy coach in Canada for the past 20 years, developing youth players and mentoring coaches, and recently obtained his UEFA Pro Licence in soccer coaching.

Payne played briefly as a schoolboy with Charlton Athletic in London and then as a semi-professional.

“Once I realised I was not going to become the number one player in the country, I took up my other career, which was journalism,” Payne said.

“I was a journalist in England and Canada on national newspapers and I covered the first Gulf War and travelled the world writing for the Toronto Sun.

“I then did a little stint in public relations with the Ontario government.

“All the way through this, I was either playing or coaching and gradually moving up the coaching ladder.

“In December last year, I finally finished what is the pinnacle in Europe, the UEFA Pro Licence.

“I took a longer time because I had another career at the same time, whereas professional players can do it much more quickly.”

When he obtained his Pro Licence, Payne looked around the world for coaching opportunities and was attracted to Australia.

“I’d been to Australia twice before and I liked the country and the people,” he said.

“Athletics-wise, Australians are very competitive, strong, and they want to win.

“They have a good mental attitude with all sports and they take their sport seriously.”

Payne said Football Federation Australia had set down a new curriculum involving small-sided games and a new pathway for coaches and he wholeheartedly agreed with this.

“I spent considerable years in Brazil, where small-side games and work on technique is paramount, as it is in Holland,” Payne said.

“The task here is to implement those FFA programs and to upgrade and get more qualified coaches on the ground here so that the kids are being looked after properly.

“Coach development, of course, leads to player development, and FFA are particularly interested in finding the best 8- to 12-year-olds.

“To me, I think we can all get together and find those ’little devils’, as I like to call them, within that age group.”

Payne has already attended a junior carnival in Hobart and has seen some very talented youngsters.

He will be in Launceston on the weekend to run his eye over another junior tournament.

No comments: